Tourism in Spain continues to grow and one of the reasons is religious tourism. The pastoral care of tourism is becoming increasingly important in the country.
Text - Fernando Serrano
Spain offers different types of tourism thanks to its geographical and cultural variety. Tourists come to the country in search of different things: good weather, beaches, mountains, leisure, relaxation, culture...
Other types of tourism
Spanish tourism beat its record number of international visitors in 2017 with the arrival of 82 million tourists. This represents an increase of 8.9 % compared to 2016. This figure means that almost twice the Spanish population visited the country.
Most of these tourists come looking for sun, beach, rest... Since most of them come to the Levante area (Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Valencian Community) and the Canary Islands. However, the autonomous communities that grew the most with respect to the previous year are: Extremadura, Castilla y León and Galicia.
But, among all the offers, the cultural and religious ones are the most important. At present, three of the five main holy cities in the world are Spanish. Alongside Jerusalem and Rome are Santiago de Compostela, Caravaca de la Cruz and Santo Toribio de Liébana. In total, Spanish pilgrimage destinations welcome around 20 million visitors a year.
Holy Week, which is celebrated throughout the country and in many cities has earned recognition as a festival of international tourist interest, the great cathedrals, the monasteries, the Jubilee destinations ... are some of the reasons why tourism related to culture and religion has a great weight in Spain.