Record tourism levels in Spain bode well for the holiday let market this year, with the popularity of the Canaries especially strong.

Tourism in Spain is continuing on an upward curve after a bumper 2016, boding well for the property and holiday rental markets along the Costas in 2017.

Spain welcomed a record-breaking 75.6 million foreign visitors to its sandy shores in 2016, according to figures from the Spanish Tourist Office. Never before have the country’s airports had more international travelers passing through their terminals, a staggering 162 million last year.

Britons comprise the largest group of visitors to Spain by nation, racking up a total of 17.8 million in 2016, which is a perhaps surprising 12% rise on 2015, despite the weaker pound. There is evidence to suggest that Spain’s ongoing rise in popularity is due in part to security concerns deterring tourists from other holiday destinations, including northern Africa, the Middle East and in some cases Turkey.

By the end of January this year, early bookings for summer holidays to Spain were up 16% compared to 2016

Indications paint this trend is set to continue. By the end of January this year, early bookings for summer holidays to Spain were up 16% compared to 2016, according to market analysts GfK.

One area of Spain proving especially popular is the Canary Islands, experienced a 11 per cent jump in visitor numbers in 2016 compared to 2015, according to recent data from the Instituto Canario de Estadístca (ISTAC).


Las Americas Beach, Tenerife, a draw for 5 million Brits in 2016


The most southerly region of Spain, the Canaries enjoy superb weather year-round, making them a popular year-round destination. This combination of great weather, stunning beaches and relaxed lifestyle help to attract 15 million visitors in 2016, 1.7 million more than the previous year, said ISTAC.

Looking closer, Tenerife is the most popular Canary Island, welcoming 5.7 million last year. With average temperatures ranging from 17°C in winter to 24°C in summer, and between six and ten hours of daily sunshine year-round, the island is something of a haven for families, as well as second homeowners seeking guaranteed sunshine but a more tolerable heat.

Part of Tenerife’s attraction lies in its appeal to all ages. From the buzzing commercial scene and nightlife of the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to the peace and beauty of the volcanic beaches and tranquil golf courses, the island’s mass appeal ensures a steady stream of visitors. In fact, Tenerife has become so popular that it attracted over a million more visitors than the second most popular Canary Island in 2016, namely Gran Canaria with 4.2 million.

Nearly 5 million Brits touched down in the Canaries last year. German visitors formed the second highest group (3 million), followed by Spaniards (1.6 million).

ISTAC’s figures reveal that more tourists travelled to the Canaries in 2016 from the UK than any other country. Nearly 5 million Brits touched down in the sunny archipelago last year, while German visitors formed the second highest group (3 million), followed by Spaniards (1.6 million).

Meanwhile, in a year when the exchange rate is comparatively unfavourable for UK tourists, making value for money important when choosing a holiday destination, a survey by the Post Office shows that Spain is one of the best value places in 2017.

Measuring eight typical tourist items – namely dinner for two with wine, a range of drinks, suncream and insect repellent – in 44 resorts and cities around the world, the survey ranks Spain’s Costa del Sol as the third best value destination. The cost for the collection of items was £38.79 in the Costa del Sol, which was less than last year’s survey and only £5 more than the cheapest destination.

Better value for money will make Spain even more attractive, presenting opportunities to homeowners up and down the Costas to maximise income from holiday rentals.

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The Spain Buying Guide is a free, independent resource to help anyone who is looking to buy property in or move to Spain through each critical stage of their property buying journey. Set up to help our readers avoid the many complexities and pitfalls of buying property in Spain, the guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves.  
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