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Record number of Chinese tourists in Spain!

Last year, Spain became the third global holidays destination, after France and the United States.

Spain received a record 65 million foreign tourists in 2014.

This is the second consecutive year that Spain beats its record of of inbound tourism with 65 million visitors. That means an increase up to  7,1%  in comparison with the past year, as reported by  José Manuel Soria, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism in Spain.

It is estimated that foreign tourists spent in Spain around 63,000 million euros in 2014 compared to 59.000 million in 2013.

The most preferred foreign destinations in the Spanish peninsula are clearly located on the Mediterranean coast, from Cataluña to Andalucía, and the Baleares and Canarias Islands, accounting by 60% of total arrivals to the country.


Cataluña received 16.8 million foreign tourists accounting for 25.9% of the total volume of arrivals. Spanish inland regions have grown around 10% year-on-year.

China is the world’s largest source of tourists and Chinese tourists are the biggest spenders in the world. Each year, over 100 million Chinese travel abroad and spend 87,850 million euros worldwide during their trips.

Spain is becoming an increasingly important destination for Chinese tourists

Spain goes up in the ranking of the most favorite Chinese tourists’ destinations for 2015, as reported by a survey of travel trends in Asia carried out by Travelzoo Asia Pacific. If in 2014 Spain was ranked 17th, in 2014 the country occupies the number 13, surpassing other European countries such as U.K and Germany.


According to the survey, around 13.2% of Chinese respondents  said they would like to visit Spain this year, an increase of almost 2% compared to the last year.

What they are looking for in Spain?

During their trips to Europe, Chinese visitors are looking for a mix of culture, shopping and gastronomy, something that Spain has in abundance.

As opposed to most of the tourists visiting Spain, Chinese travelers are not interested in sun and beach and meanwhile they prefer a tourism related to culture and shopping.


They spend a huge part of their time shopping. Most of those purchases are luxury items such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton handbags which, despite their high prices in Europe are still much cheaper than in China.

To attract them, it is essential to have Mandarin-speaking staff, as many Chinese tourists are not able to understand English. In some stores of the Madrid airport there are Chinese born employees to attend Chinese customers who do their last minute shopping before comming back to China. It is also vital integrate Chinese payment systems such as UnionPay.


The main barriers for Chinese travelers who want to visit Spain are the complicated visa process and a limited number of flights to the country. In addition, the lack of services in their native language or in English is a concern for Chinese tourists.

Mobile platforms are the key

In order to attract Chinese tourists to Spain, it is essential to develop marketing strategies to reach them.

The first step is having presence on the Chinese Internet through the creation of a Chinese website, having visibility on Baidu and use social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.

chinese mobile

Travelzoo’s report also reveals the importance of providing a good wifi access to potential Chinese visitors, as almost 80% of them use mobile devices to make purchases related to the trip. Chinese travelers also use mobile devices to look for information about what the destination city offers such as restaurants, leisure activities, point of interest, stores…

In order to attract Chinese tourists it is essential to have presence on the Chinese Internet. Companies must create Chinese websites and integrate Chinese social media platforms on their marketing strategies.

Before to plan their trip, Chinese tourists seek information on search engines like Baidu and also collect information, comments and opinions of other users on social media platforms. The information they can find on those sites will help them to choose their destinations, hotels, restaurants…

If you are interested to attract Chinese travelers, don’t hesitate to contact us.



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