Spain's tourist industry is soaring, according to new figures.
The number of foreign arrivals in the country almost reached 65 million in 2014, data from the government reveals, while Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has confirmed that between them visitors spent an impressive â¬63 billion, up 6.5 per cent on the previous year.
The country's tourism minister hailed it as âone of the key sectors in Spain's economic recoveryâ. Indeed, tourism now accounts for 10.9 per cent of the country's GDP. It is now responsible for 1 in every 9 jobs, which is helping to combat unemployment as well as generate income for the economy.
Executive Vice president of Exceltur, JosÃ© Luis Zoreda, comments: "Tourism is leading the generation of net employment, closing 2014 with 53,213 enrolled in Social Security, 4.1 per cent more than in 2013."
The impact of the record-breaking year has been felt far and wide across Spain, with the tourism boosting both commerce and construction. Indeed, homebuilder Taylor Wimpey EspaÃ±a reports rising activity from buyers, while figures from the Ministry of Public Works highlighted a 6.7 per cent increase in building permits in the first 10 months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
"Rising visitor numbers are great news for Spain's construction sector," comments Sales and Marketing Director Marc Pritchard. "We have noticed strong demand for luxury holiday properties from buyers hailing from a wide range of countries. Spain has such an enchanting effect on so many people that they want to come back again and again, so buying a second home here is the perfect solution."
The Costa Blanca is one of the most popular regions among tourists, as well as hosue hunters. The Mayor of Calpe, CÃ©sar SÃ¡nchez, has highlighted the area's cuisine and beaches as two of the leading reasons for its success. Indeed, Pritchard says Taylor Wimpey EspaÃ±a has experienced an "influx of buyers" in the past year,
"Our charming Calpesol development, where three bedroom houses are for sale from â¬179,500, has only two properties left available. Our other Calpe site, Montesol, has proven equally popular, with just three townhouses left, priced from â¬249,000. The area's blend of excellent food, good wine, stunning scenery and family friendly beach is a truly winning combination."
Although it is early in 2015 to be predicting another record year for Spanish tourism, Ryanair has reflected its confidence by confirming that it will offer a total of 26 routes into and out of Valencia this summer, totalling 121 flights per week from that airport alone.