Helping the Spanish Economy when Holidaying in Spain

Holidaying in SpainPretty much everyone likes to go on holiday and Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. You can find some cheap holidays to Spain quite easily at one of the many travel companies that there are. There are over 45 million people each year that choose Spain as their holiday destination, and this means that tourism is an extremely important sector for the Spanish economy. However, with Europe still being in a deep recession with no end in sight, this important sector of the economy is not enough to try and reduce the unemployment in Spain which is touted as being around 26%. With the Gross National Product also shrinking, people are trying to get even more money out of tourists to try and help their businesses survive. In 2012 tourists spent a whopping 55.6 billion Euros with the average tourist spending 108 Euros a day, which will include accommodation, meals, shopping and also entertainment.

Attracting More Euros

People are going to go to Spain on holiday and with the amount of tourists each year, this figure is unlikely to increase significantly year on year. So retailers are trying to attract tourists with money to spend in the normal retail shops as well as at the tourist attractions, resorts and hotels. This is a way that the economy can be helped even more by the visiting tourists each year and the lack of spending by the locals due to no money is offset by the increased spending by the tourists. The demographic of the average tourist has changed as well. Russia and China have a very affluent middle class which has money to spend and is on the lookout for bargains. They are also  looking for holiday homes to buy. One way that retailers is embracing this is to offer their websites in Russian and Chinese as well as the signs in their shops. Also hiring staff which can speak either of the two languages also assists with the communication barrier. This is not just happening in Spain but all over the world. Anywhere which is considered a quality holiday destination, and also some, which aren’t, are seeing a massive influx of tourists from these two countries. With this influx the demand to cater for these nationalities increases. Offering payment through China Union Pay is one way that the Chinese are being catered for at El Corte Ingles, which is Spain’s largest department store.  They also offer applications for the iPad and iPhone in both English and Chinese to help assist the tourists.

Embracing the Tourists

With the level of disposable income reduced in the average Spanish household, tourists are now being embraced and enticed to shop at the larger retail stores, where historically they may only purchase particular luxury brands. The retails focus is shifting to encompass the influx of money from these new tourists, and they are doing as much as they can to target these demographics and get them to visit the shops and spend their money. Technology is helping immensely as well if you do not speak the language and have a Smartphone you can use this as there are plenty of translation applications available for either a small price or even free. These can help enormously with communicating in one of the many languages that tourists speak.

  • English
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Chinese

Usually you would be hard pressed to find someone who could speak two or three foreign languages but with the advent of technology and also the internet, suddenly almost any language in the world is available to be communicated in. Local councils are also helping the stores to attract foreign customers by allowing the stores to alter their opening hours and to make them more flexible to give tourists greater freedom.  This also means that the locals have the same privilege and maybe even the creation of new jobs to cover the new opening hours. So all in all, it is a winning situation for both locals and their economy and also the tourists. Not only can you get some great cheap holidays to Spain, but also get some shopping bargains whilst you are there! If you do not come from Europe, then you may also be able to save paying VAT, which can save you even more money.


Ariana Louis is a keen traveler, writer, and blogger. She has traveled to many countries around the world and enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge with other travelers. Ariana has found that Travel Republic offers some of the cheapest holiday deals when she is looking to book some time away from home.

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