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Which Tourists Stay in Hotels, When and Where

Analysis based on the 2022 data from the tourist occupancy survey (hotel establishments) by the National Statistics Institute (INE)

Tourists who chose hotel establishments in 2022 were typically foreign travellers who mainly book a four-star hotel for an average stay of more than three nights. The stays are mainly between April and October (with greater intensity in the summer months, accounting for about 40% of the overnight stays). In terms of the number of tourists, there are more Spanish (51.77%) than foreigner guests, but overnight stays by foreigners exceed four nights on average and those by Spaniards barely reach 2.25 nights.

Taking overnight stays into account, the greatest differences in the choice of hotels are found in five-star hotels. In this case, 81% of overnight stays are foreign tourists. Also, more than 63% of overnight stays in guest houses are Spanish residents.

The most sought-after destinations also vary depending on the tourist's origin. The tourism areas most chosen by residents are the Costa Blanca (almost 7.5 million overnight stays) and the Costa del Sol (more than 5.5 million). Meanwhile, overnight stays by foreigners concentrate in Mallorca (almost 40 million), Tenerife (about 20 million), Barcelona (almost 17.5 million) and Gran Canaria (more than 14.5 million). In general terms, Catalonia and Andalusia amount to close to 20 million travellers, and the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands register almost 65 and 56 million overnight stays respectively.

Foreign tourists who stay in hotels are primarily from the United Kingdom (more than one in four overnight stays), and their preferred destination is the Canary Islands (according to Frontur data, which points to 4.68 million tourists). They are followed in number of overnight stays by tourists from Germany (almost one in five), whose preferred destination is the Balearic Islands (with 4.3 million German tourists according to Frontur data). Next comes France (9% of overnight stays by foreigners) and its main destination is Catalonia, which concentrates almost 3.5 million French tourists.


Tourists mostly choose hotels as accommodation in Spain: more than 70% of overnight stays are in these establishments. This happens despite the fact that the average stays in hotels are much lower than those in apartments and campsites. This choice is most evident in the Region of Madrid, the Balearic Islands and Galicia, where overnight stays in hotels account for more than 80%, versus apartments, rural tourism accommodation, campsites and hostels.

Overnight stays in hotels represent the vast majority across Spain, except in some regions where they account for between 60 and 50% of total overnight stays. These are the cases of La Rioja, the Region of Murcia, the Region of Valencia, Navarre and Cantabria. In all of them, except the Region of Valencia, campsites are the second type of accommodation.


2022 data from the INE tourist accommodation occupancy survey (hotel establishments).

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