Alicante tops Madrid as favourite for tourists


The province of Alicante topped the list for domestic tourism in August, although without reaching the number of visitors that it used to enjoy prior to the pandemic. A recent study placed Alicante on top of Madrid for domestic tourism. The figures were released as part of the study of ‘mobility for leisure reasons’ carried out during the month of August by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) based on the positioning of mobile phones. The figures reveal that during August, 1,243,149 people from the rest of Spain visited the Alicante region, a figure that exceeded even that of Madrid, which welcomed 1,099,907 tourists. Cádiz was very close behind, with 1,093,511, and the influx to Málaga was also very high, with 1,003,005. These were the only four provinces with more than a million domestic holidaymakers during arguably the year’s busiest month for tourism.

The results for the month of July were the reverse when Madrid was the province with the most tourists and Alicante was in second place. The data for August is highly important for the sector as it corresponds to the busiest holiday period of the year, in which the greatest volume of travel takes place and, with a few very specific exceptions, the highest tourist numbers are enjoyed across all regions of Spain. The number of people who went on holiday to the Alicante province in August was no exception and exceeded that of July by almost 85,000, but there was a striking difference to other summers: it was the smallest monthly increase in the last three years.

Alicante towns and villages received, throughout August 2022, altogether about 95,000 fewer tourists than in the same month of 2019, just before the pandemic. Not only that, but visitors to the province fell more than notably in relation to August last year, by 15.62%.

The explanation for this, say experts, must be the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions to travel abroad that were still in force in the summer of 2021 and now a year later have disappeared or have become much more lax. Basically this means that more Spanish holidaymakers opted to holiday within Spain last year, meaning that while this year’s summer was a success in terms of domestic tourism, figures last year were unusually high so this year shows a ‘drop’.

The INE study also showed that 65,204 residents in the province of Alicante travelled in August. The main destination was France, where 16,523 people travelled, followed by Portugal with 8,351, Italy with 6,593 and the United Kingdom with 5,427.

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