BY: AMR RADYTRAVEL AND TOURISM IN SPAIN
With an estimated 34.3 million tourists arriving in 1990, Spain rates as the third country in the world in terms of tourist arrivals. The history of tourism in Spain and the factors which have contributed to the mass tourism development seen today are discussed in this chapter. The general features and trends of incoming foreign tourism in Spain are detailed; the characteristics of Spaniards themselves as tourists are also reviewed, with the observation that travel agencies are scarcely required by Spaniards since 77.8% arrange their holidays on their own. Current SPanish tourist offerings are considered, with an analysis of accommodation in Spain.
The tourist sector employed 1.4 million persons in 1990, which accounted for 11.2% of the Spanish working population. The public organization of tourism in Spain is described, followed by a review of future prospects including details of measures to try to capture tourist markets with a higher purchasing power and to promote the unknown touristic potential in Spain. These 'alternatives' to a Spanish sun, sea and sand holiday are suggested; 'cultural Spain', following routes which display the country's history or local traditions; the 13 national parks and 33 natural parks offer an experience of 'natural Spain'; sports such as rafting and mountain-climbing and skiing are increasing in Spain, as is 'health tourism'. The most recent tourist boom has occurred in the market of conference tourism; in 1990, Spain had moved up from 20th to 9th place in terms of numbers of international meetings held.