Spain, located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, is a popular destination among tourists. It is one of the countries which generate large revenues from the tourism industry. In 2007, Spain had the 2nd most visitors after France and was visited by millions of people. According to World Travel and Tourism, Spain’s tourism GDP was $ 91.8 billion in 2010.
It is believed that the tourism industry here developed during the last years of the dictatorial reign of Francisco Franco. At that time Spain became the popular summer holiday destination for tourists, especially those from colder regions of Europe. In addition, Spain has a moderate climate throughout the whole year.
The large sandy beaches of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean are major attractions for tourists. Also, the Spanish territory includes the two archipelagoes (the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast) which also attract tourists for summer holidays. These summer resorts and beaches are also famous among the Spaniards.
Cities in Spain like Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Toledo are popular cultural destination for visitors because of their historical importance. According to UNESCO, Spain has the most number of World Heritage sites.
Madrid is a large city and has great historical importance for Spain. Moreover, Madrid is also considered a financial hub of Europe in the southern region. This has resulted in an increase in business tourism. Santiago de Compostela, the city in Galicia situated in the northwestern part of Spain, is considered the 3rd holiest place for Catholics. The other religious places are Santo Toribio de Liebana, Cantabria and the Sanctuary of Vera Cruz in Caravaca dela Cruz which attracts tourists and visitors from around the world.
Spanish cities are also important for their festivals. The Seville Fair and the Fiestas de Pilar in Zaragoza are world-famous festivals. Music and movie festivals have also attracted tourists to Spain. Spain also hosted the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. The living conditions in Spain as well as the nightlife are better than most countries.
Spain’s national airline is headquartered in Iberia but almost every worldwide airline flies to Spain such as Vueling, Air Berlin and chartered planes that will take you to any famous place in this country. Spain is well connected and travelling there is much easier than you could have imagined.