US tourists heading to Spain
By Peter Mindenhall

US tourists heading to Spain

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Spain has long been the most popular holiday destination among Europeans, but it seems Americans now want a piece of the action too. According to the country's tourism research agency Frontur, arrivals from the US increased by 35.7 per cent to almost 100,000 in March 2013 compared to 2012. This is the highest growth rate of any nation.

Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing manager for leading Spanish house builder Taylor Wimpey Espana, commented: "US citizens have been vacationing in Spain for many years. Numerous celebrities including Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffiths and even George Clooney own second homes here and walking down the Golden Mile in Marbella can at times feel like a stroll through the streets of Hollywood."

For those considering Spanish property, this means there is a burgeoning tourism market to be tapped into. To capture the interest of US holidaymakers, investing in real estate that appeals to their tastes and is in popular locations, such as the Costa del Sol, will help to ensure high occupancy rates.

However, it isn't just American's that are increasing their market share in Spanish tourism and overall tourism increased 7.9 per cent year-on-year in March 2013. In Q1 there was also an increase of 2.3 per cent in the number of holidaymakers visiting the country. This equates to a staggering 9.4 million tourists visiting Spain between January and March.

Brits made up just less than one in five (19.9 per cent) of all arrivals in the country, while Germans accounted for 11.9 per cent of total visitors. The French also increased their share in tourism, with arrivals rising by 16 per cent. Scandinavians were up 13.8 per cent year-on-year.

The Costa Blanca is proving to be a popular spot for holidaymakers and there is good access between the area and the US. Mr Pritchard explained direct flights operate from New York, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Newark, Charlotte, Dallas and LA to Madrid. There is then a high-speed rail link to Alicante.

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