Even though 2014 still has 4 months left, it already has been predicted that Spain will see a record in tourist arrivals this year. 28 million visitors came to enjoy this beautiful country in the fist half of the year and there are high hopes that by the end of the year the booming number of 63 million visitors will be reached. This all confirms that tourism is still the country’s main industry.
Wine tourism is one of the niche markets that make this growth possible. Just like the overall growth in tourism, wine tourism keeps gaining popularity, both with national and international tourists. According to ACEVIN (Asociación española de Ciudades del Vino), the 20 Spanish wine routes were visited by 1.689.209 visitors in 2013, a growth of 18% compared to the previous year. Over the past 10 years wine tourism created over 50.000 jobs in Spain, which is all the more important now the unemployment rates in Spain are so high.
Spring and autumn seem to be the busiest seasons in this sector. Although most visitors are national, more and more foreigners start to discover the Spanish bodegas and vineyards. Nationalities often received in the wineries are German, British and American.
Since Spain is world’s biggest wine producer, it won’t come as a surprise that there are many wineries to visit. However, of the 280.000 wineries in Spain only 10 till 15% is open for wine tourists, most of them located in la Rioja, Cataluña and Castilla y León. These percentages will surely rise, since the combination of gastronomy, history, culture, art and local traditions give wine tourism a huge potential to grow.