Spain is a genuine force for tourism in the world. With 60.6 million international visitors, it ranks second in terms of tourist revenues, just behind USA. Its good climate, coastline, beaches and natural areas, the excellent cultural heritage and cuisine, and a modern network of infrastructures and tourist services have put this destination in the top ranks. Below is a review of some of the factors that have prompted this privileged position.
Enviable coastline. Spain’s coastline spans approximately 8,000 kilometers, including its two archipelagos (the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands). Here we find a total of 573 blue flag beaches, setting Spain at the top of the list among the 48 countries taking part in this program. It also has 108 blue flag pleasure harbors and over 130,000 moorings.
Spectacular nature. The natural surroundings are another aspect that make Spain a choice destination. It ranks second in Europe in terms of natural areas, with 14 National Parks and 126 Natural Parks. It is also the second country in terms of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves with a total of 42. Over 300 days of sunshine per year, 2,000 kilometers of Green Routes and a generous network of paths for hiking and mountain biking complete the natural offer.
Cultural power. Spain’s historic and cultural wealth do not go by unnoticed for the millions of tourists visiting every year. With 42 enclaves, Spain ranks second on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. To this we must add the appeal of Spanish, the world’s second language in number of speakers and nearly 20 million students who have it as a foreign language, plus its impressive wealth in terms of museums, traditional festivities and cultural events.
A benchmark for food lovers. Spain’s varied and select cuisine is one of its most appealing features for visitors. It is not by chance that in 2013 the world’s best restaurant was from Spain and that three Spanish restaurants were in the top ten, and that the best chef was also a Spaniard, according to the prestigious magazine Restaurant. In 2014, there were eight Spanish restaurants with three Michelin stars, 17 had two stars and 120 restaurants had a single star.
Infrastructures. The large offer of tourist infrastructures in enviable in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Spain has 3,200,000 hotel beds, of which over 50% are of superior category, plus 15,000 establishments dedicated to rural tourism. As far as well-being is concerned, Spain has over 120 spas in mountain and coastal areas, as well as on its islands, which provide visitors with a unique experience. To all this we must add the many roads, the high-speed train network, airports, harbors, etc., which place Spain among the top ten countries in the world in terms of quality of its infrastructures.
Sports and entertainment. The entertainment and sports offer available in Spain, suiting all tastes, is quite unique. With nearly 450 golf courses, Spain is the second destination in the world for golf travellers. You can also enjoy mountain skiing, water sports and hiking and mountain bike routes in exclusive settings. All of this is topped with so many facilities for entertainment, partying and fun in nearly every city and town in the country.