Galicia surpassed for the first time the barrier of two million travelers in the first half of 2019, according to figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE). The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, stressed at the presentation ceremony held in Sanxenxo that Galician tourism “grows in quantity, but above all in quality.
Ours was the Community in which tourism demand grew the most, with an increase of 7.7% compared to an average of 1.2% for the rest of Spain. From the government of the Xunta affirm that these data are largely due to Galicia “is an attractive tourist destination for travelers also in mid and low season,” from which follows its commitment to the deseasonalization of supply.
In addition, the data reflect a 7.7% improvement in the number of overnight stays, making the accommodations are covered for longer. “Not only come more visitors than ever and better distributed, but more and more travelers stay longer in our Community, make more money and create quality jobs throughout the year,” said the conselleiro. In this sense, he congratulated the professionals of the sector because their work is allowing that the evolution of Galicia in all the variables is superior to the set of the State.
The figures also show that hotel profitability improved at a rate much higher than the Spanish average, growing average income per room above 9% compared to 3.6% recorded nationally, “which reflects that we have an increasingly competitive and professional tourism sector.
In fact, the balance presented by the Xunta dedicates one of its sections to the total income of the hotel sector and shows that did not stop growing since 2013, resulting in this first half of the year a total of 118.4 million euros.
As for the types of accommodation, hotels stand out, which are the preferred modality for tourists visiting Galicia, as they concentrate 73.5% of demand. In general, all types of accommodation registered more travelers: pensions, tourist apartments, campsites and rural tourism establishments. Specifically, the latter generated 9,000 new tourists, with an increase close to 12%.
Origin of travellers
The data show an increase that extends to all types of travelers, to register a rise of about 5% in domestic tourism (Galicians make more and more tourism within the community) and 6% in domestic tourism. The data that suffered a special rise was that of foreign travelers, as they grew by 14.4%. The attraction of international tourism for our community is such that it already constitutes 27% of the total number of visits. Particularly noteworthy are travellers from Portugal, Germany, the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom and the increase in the Netherlands.
Data by provinces and cities
By provinces, in absolute terms, A Coruña received the most demand, 43%, followed by Pontevedra with 34%, while Lugo and Ourense added 15 and 8%, respectively. However, Lugo registered the highest growth, with a rise of around 10%.
Román Rodríguez attributed this increase to the effort of the Galician Government to put in value the tourist values that characterize each geodestino, supporting the rural tourism and the experience linked to our enogastronomy or to our landscape and cultural heritage, “capable of attracting travellers throughout the year”.
In terms of the seven main urban destinations, Santiago ranks as the city that receives more travelers, exceeding 300,000, followed by A Coruña, Vigo, Ourense, Lugo, Pontevedra and Ferrol. The Galician capital was also the one with the best performance during the first semester, with a rise of nearly 9%, followed by Ourense, with an increase of 11%, and A Coruña, with a rise of almost 4%.
More and better employment in the sector
Parallel to the INE data, the results of the Active Population Survey were published from which the figures relating to the branch of tourism are extracted and show that the favourable evolution of tourist demand had an “important repercussion” on employment. In this sense, the Councillor for Culture and Tourism remarked that the sector employs 9% more professionals than a year ago, a fact that reflects that “more and more quality employment is created throughout the year”, at the same time that it allows “generating wealth and fixing population in the different territories”. Similarly, remarked the rise of 2.3% in affiliations to Social Security in the tourism sector and chained six consecutive years of progression.