2014 was a record year for the Spanish tourism industry. Almost 65 million visitors arrived in the country last year, boosting optimism in the country’s appeal to foreigners, as well as sentiment in its property market.
Tourism is a key driver of both real estate and the economy in Spain. It accounts for 10.9 per cent of Spain’s GDP, according to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, generating 1 in every 9 jobs. Prime Minister Rajoy has stressed the area’s importance, saying it is, “a strategic sector for both the present and the future of our economy”.
Indeed, in 2014, visitors spent €63 billion during their stays, up 6.5 per cent on the previous year. At the same time, it has also helped to create jobs, with net employment rising 4.1 per cent in 2014 year-on-year to 52,213 – a key factor in boosting domestic demand for housing.
Executive Vice president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, adds that tourism has also helped to stimulate construction and business, which Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, confirms.
“Rising visitor numbers are great news for Spain’s construction sector,” he comments. “Certainly here at Taylor Wimpey España we have noticed strong demand for luxury holiday properties from buyers hailing from a wide range of countries. Spain has such an enchanting effect on so many people that they want to come back again and again, so buying a second home here is the perfect solution.”
The Costa Blanca remains one of the most popular areas with tourists, with the Mayor of Calpe, César Sánchez, highlighting the area’s cuisine and beaches as two of the leading reasons for its appeal.
Pritchard says Taylor Wimpey has seen an “influx of buyers” for their development in the area, with only two three-bedroom houses left.
“Our other Calpe site, Montesol, has proven equally popular, with just three townhouses left, priced from €249,000,” he adds. “The area’s blend of excellent food, good wine, stunning scenery and family friendly beach is a truly winning combination.”