News Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism
En

The Basque Country accumulates 22 months of continuous growth in tourist arrivals and registers the best April ever

2011 May 20

The Basque Government implements "10 experiences" to enable visitors to become better acquainted with different areas and lifestyles of the Basque Country

Over the course of the first four months, hotel entries rose by +8% and overnight stays, by +10%, in relation to last year, which in turn broke all previous tourism records in the Basque Country. Vice-Minister Pilar Zorrilla drew attention to the efforts of all parties and, in particular, Vitoria-Gasteiz, where tourist arrivals grew by 15% and overnight stays, by 25% over the course of the first four months of the year.

If 2010 broke all previous records in terms of tourist arrivals in the Basque Country, 2011 appears set to surpass these numbers. The growth tendency within the sector continues, now representing 22 months of continuous rise. The point of inflection occurred in July 2009.

According to data released today by the Basque Statistics Institute (Eustat), over the course of the first months of the year, 638,039 tourist arrivals have been registered in Basque hotels, representing an increase of +8% with regards to 2010. Overnight stays have been registered at 1,158,471, representing an increase of 10% with regards to the same period last year.

Growth in tourism has also been registered over the course of the last month: April 2011 has proved to be the best April ever in the Basque Country. These figures extend to Holy Week. Eustat data gathered between Thursday and Saturday of this week has shown a high occupancy rate in Basque hotels: 81.5%, representing a 4% increase over the figure for the previous year.

The Vice-Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, and the Director of Tourism, Isabel Muela, have evaluated these figures today during a visit to the Historical Quarter of Vitoria-Gasteiz. They were accompanied by Gonzalo Arroita, head of the Agency for the Comprehensive Revitalisation of the Historical Quarter (ARICH).

The Vice-Minister recognised "the efforts of all parties" in achieving such significant growth within the tourism sector. In particular, she stressed "the work carried out in Vitoria, where tourist arrivals have increased by 15% and overnight stays, by 25%, over the course of the period of the current year that has transpired." Vitoria is not only the location where tourism to the Basque Country has registered the greatest increase: a recent report published by Exceltur, based on data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), affirms that the capital is the city that has registered the greatest growth in domestic tourists, recording 27.3% (Cordoba, with 16.2% ranks second).

The Vice-Minister recognised "the efforts of all parties" in achieving such significant growth within the tourism sector. In particular, she stressed "the work carried out in Vitoria, where tourist arrivals have increased by 15% and overnight stays, by 25%, over the course of the period of the current year that has transpired." Vitoria is not only the location where tourism to the Basque Country has registered the greatest increase: a recent report published by Exceltur, based on data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), affirms that the capital is the city that has registered the greatest growth in domestic tourists, recording 27.3% (Cordoba, with 16.2% ranks second).

"Vitoria has made a considerable effort. It has placed emphasis on its Historical Quarter, using the links between historical heritage and tourism", Pilar Zorrilla explained at the new section of the Wall that was recently inaugurated. "What began with the Cathedral has been extended to the surrounding area with great success".

By territories and capitals

Within the evaluation of the first four months, in addition to growth in Vitoria, attention should be drawn to the knock-on effect in Álava as a whole (with an increase of 7.5% in arrivals and 16.7% in overnight stays). Biscay also registered considerable growth of 12%, slightly higher than growth in Bilbao (10.6% in arrivals and 11.8% in overnight stays). For its part, Gipuzkoa registered an increase of 2.8% in arrivals over the course of the first four months of this year and 4.6% in overnight stays. San Sebastian maintains the figure for arrivals (-0.4%), but registers an increase of +2.6% in overnight stays.

These excellent results coincide with the new strategies spearheaded by the Basque Government. In 2010, a new tourism slogan was established: "The Basque Country, Savour It". Furthermore, the Government has passed a new Marketing Plan, with fresh policies to promote and redefine the Basque tourist products that have enabled us to consolidate our potential. Attention should also be drawn to the positive results of the collaboration with Turespaña for the promotion of the Basque Country overseas, a collaboration which was renewed in March with twice the budget for 2011.

New Experiences

Amongst new features attention should be drawn to the "10 experiences" designed by the Basque Government, in collaboration with local agents, to allow visitors to become better acquainted with different areas and lifestyles in the Basque Country, thereby increasing the chances of return visits.

The experiences are as follows: "The roots of the Basque Country: Guernica"; "The secrets of a cathedral: the Cathedral of Santa María"; "When gastronomy becomes art: learning with Daniel García"; "The Basque Country, the original version: rural life. Live with a Basque family"; "A different view: touch the heavens in Vitoria-Gasteiz"; "The chef within you"; "An enthralling journey back through time: the Flysch Route"; "Viniculture, cellar by cellar"; "The pearl of the Bay of Biscay" and "Raise your spirit: Aitzgorri, the highest peak".

The evolution of Basque tourism over the first four months of 2011

By territory

Álava

Biscay

Gipuzkoa

Arrivals

98,775

+7.5%

313,623

+12.2%

225,641

+2.8%

Ovenight stays

184,495

+16.7%

562,906

+12.3%

411,070

+4.6%

By capital

Vitoria-Gasteiz

Bilbao

Donostia-San Sebastián

Arrivals

72,284

+15.7%

205,448

+10.6%

127,924

-0.4%

Ovenight stays

144.636

+25.9%

375.290

+11.8%

225.702

+2.6%

 

4 comments
  • @ElGuisanteVerde
    2011 May 27

    Comentario de Twitter:
    RT @TvEuskadi: Tourism in the Basque Country keeps growing and it registers its best April ever http://bit.ly/lizX4N @Irekia_News

  • @ElGuisanteVerde
    2011 May 27

    Comentario de Twitter:
    RT @TvEuskadi: El turismo en Euskadi sigue creciendo y registra el mejor abril de su historia http://bit.ly/jlsGbs @Irekia_News

  • @TvEuskadi
    2011 May 27

    Comentario de Twitter:
    El turismo en Euskadi sigue creciendo y registra el mejor abril de su historia http://bit.ly/jlsGbs @Irekia_News

  • @TvEuskadi
    2011 May 27

    Comentario de Twitter:
    Tourism in the Basque Country keeps growing and it registers its best April ever http://bit.ly/lizX4N @Irekia_News

Comments are disabled for this document
Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)