Why is Spain the World’s Number Two Top Tourist Destination?

Toledo skyline - copyright Diliff, Creative Commons

It’s no surprise to many that Spain has the world’s second largest tourist industry. Only second to the United States, in 2010 Spain had international tourist receipts of over $52 billion, which is 50% of the United States, but as Spain is a country with a population only 15% of the United States, per capita, it actually does better.

But what makes Spain the number two top tourist destination? Why do so many people travel there?

The Weather – Spain has wonderful weather all year round. While other countries may struggle with harsh winters or scorching summers, Spain has a fabulous climate. Sure, it gets hot and it can be cold but, overall, most months of the year in Spain, in most areas, have pleasant temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees fahrenheit.

Spain’s History – A unified country since the 15th century, Spain’s history goes back a lot further than that. With roots in the prehistoric times, Spain has it all for history buffs – archaelogical digs, cave paintings, castles, forts, palaces, and a turbulent history with some of the most spectacular events on the planet happening in Spain. In fact, there’s so much of historical significance in the country, you’ll  never manage to see it all.

Spain’s Natural Beauty – Gorgeous white sand beaches like those on the Costa Blanca, massive mountain ranges like the Pyrenees, islands such as Tenerife and Mallorca, major rivers and more — if you like the outdoors lifestyle, it’s easy to find on a holiday to Spain.

Spanish Food – Some would say (and we agree with them), Spain has the best food in the world. The most amazing dishes, a huge variety of all-year-round fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood, pasta, pizza, meat dishes, salads, desserts, cakes, tapas — there’s so much food in Spain, it’s a wonder the whole country doesn’t weigh 300 lbs.

Spanish food is also healthy — a big reason Spaniards are now the world’s second longest living people.

Spanish Hotels – The hotel regulatory bodies in Spain are much tougher than in most other countries so, what might be a 4-star hotel in the United States is only a 2 or 3-star in Spain. Plus, prices are inexpensive, so it’s not unheard of to be able to stay in a 4-star hotel including breakfast and dinner for less than $60 a night — even hotels right on the beach really are this cheap.

Spain is such a wonderful country for tourists, don’t be surprised if it eventually reaches the world’s number one top tourist destination.