During the first quarter of the year Galicia has increased the number of travellers and overnight stays to over 636,000 and 1.2 million, figures that represent not only an increase over the same period last year but also a growth above the national average. Thus, in the case of accommodated passengers, the increase was 7.1% compared to the national average of 5.8%, while in the case of overnight stays, the increase was ten points compared to 3.7% for the whole of Spain.
Data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) also reveal that rural tourism is leading the growth of tourism in the Galician Community at the beginning of this year, with a 45% increase in tourism demand. The celebration of Holy Week in March helped significantly to grow so intensely, but it was not the only determining factor. This is demonstrated, for example, by the fact that Galicia inaugurated the year with the best month of January of the last decade.
It was the fourth consecutive year in which the number of tourists grew in January in Galicia but this time they did so more intensely and also stayed longer in the Community, as the average stay in that first month rose by 4% while in the whole of Spain it fell by 1.6%. This confirms, on the one hand, that Galicia is consolidating its process of deseasonalisation in 2018.
The performance of the first quarter of the year also confirms that Galicia is a more international destination. Until March we received more travellers from Spain, but especially from abroad, with increases of 8.8% in domestic tourism demand and 15.4% in the international market. In fact, in terms of number of travellers staying at the hotel, international tourism has reached an all-time high of over 100,000 this year.
The data shows that Galicia has been able to counteract adverse weather conditions in the first quarter thanks to a solid cultural, food and wine and thermal tourism offer, as well as initiatives to discover the heritage, the natural environment, gastronomy and active tourism, among others.