This country is set to overtake France as the world’s most visited destination

Tourist numbers in March this year were up a staggering 21 percent compared to 2023

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Seville, Spain
Photograph: Shutterstock

France has pretty much got it all – lovely beaches, gorgeous mountains, marvellous vineyards, idyllic countryside and dynamic cities in between. So, it’s no wonder it’s been the world’s most visited country in the world for several years now. 

However, it looks like it’ll soon be overtaken by none other than its Mediterranean neighbour, Spain. According to a report conducted by Google and Deloitte entitled ‘NextGen Travelers and Destinations’, Spain is set to welcome a staggering 110 million annual visitors by 2040. 

If their predictions are true, that would mean a huge increase of 24 percent compared to 2023 visitor numbers, which were at around 84 million. 

And things are already on the up. In March this year, 6.3 million international tourists paid Spain a visit, which is 21 percent up from 2023, according to the National Statistics Institute. The record for tourist spending was also broken in that period, soaring to €8.65 billion (£7.3 billion), an increase of 29.7 percent. 

While those stats are pretty drastic, we aren’t really that surprised. Spain brags an average of 300 sunny days per year, with temperatures in the summer sitting comfortably in the mid-30s, but plenty of winter sun too. 

And while Spain is conscious of ensuring its cities remain liveable places (such as with the upcoming ban of holiday lets in Barcelona and restrictions in Madrid), there are huge investments being made into its tourist infrastructure. 

From the opening of more sustainable souvenir shops to the potential for a speedy train along the Costa del Sol, there’s loads of moves being made to support tourism. 

Did you see that this city has been named Europe’s leading sustainable tourism destination?

Plus: This beautiful Italian region will pay you €30,000 to move there

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