Press release 23/01/2019


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Tourist spending in the Basque Country increased by 3.9% in 2017, standing at 6.1% of GDP

Inbound tourism accounted for 53% of total tourist spending, one point more than in 2016

Tourist spending in the Basque Country in 2017 was up 3.9% on 2016, according to Eustat data. In absolute terms, it went from 4,305 million in 2016 to 4,474 million in 2017. In relation to GDP, tourist spending accounted for 6.1% in 2017, one percentage point more than in 2016 and seven more than in 2010. In Spain the weight of tourism on GDP in 2017 reached 11.7%

This increase in tourist spending occurred in both Inbound tourism (+5.9%), i.e. spending in the Basque Country by tourists and day-trippers who come from abroad or the rest of Spain, and, to a lesser extent, in Other components of tourist spending (+1.8%). Thus, the proportion of inbound tourism in overall spending, reached 53% in 2017, up one percentage point compared to 2016.


The item Other components of tourist spending includes spending by tourists and day-trippers in the Basque Country, spending on tourism related programmes by Basque public administrations and the gross capital formation (investment) of companies pertaining to the characteristic branches of tourism.

The deficit generated by the difference between inbound tourism spending (journeys and trips by non-residents within the Basque Country) and outbound tourism spending (journeys and trips by Basque residents outside of the Basque Country) stood at 2,480 million euros, 3.4% of GDP in 2017, increasing once again, and for the third year running, the tourism balance deficit.

Specifically, 2017 was characterised by a stronger trend in outbound tourism spending (+6.9%), as opposed to inbound tourism spending (+5.9%), with which the negative tourism balance increased by 179 million euros.


Bizkaia gained a greater proportion of total tourist spending in the Basque Country, although it was more important for Gipuzkoa

In terms of spending, Bizkaia represented 44.9% of the total in 2017, followed by Gipuzkoa with 41.3%, and Álava, where spending made up 13.8% of the total. All three provinces saw an improvement compared with 2016, although it was greater in Bizkaia, which made up 6 tenths more of total Basque tourist spending, to the detriment of Gipuzkoa. Álava maintained the same contribution quota as in 2016. Specifically, Bizkaia registered an increase of 5.4% in tourist spending, 1.5 points above the average; Álava and Gipuzkoa saw growth of 3.1% and 2.6%, respectively.


Gipuzkoa remains the province for which tourism acts as a driving force in the economy, despite the increased prominence of the other two territories. In 2017 tourist expenditure in Gipuzkoa represented 7.6% of its GDP (one tenth less than the previous year). Whilst in Bizkaia the same indicator rose to 5.4% (historic maximum) and in Álava it was 5.1%, also one tenth less than in 2016.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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Tourist spending in the Basque Country increased by 3.9% in 2017, standing at 6.1% of GDP

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