The strength of a universal language
Nearly one million people visit Spain each year to get to know, learn and practise Spanish
Each language tourist spends an average of around 2,000 euros per stay and together they leave around 2 billion euros a year in the country
The Spanish language is one of the main assets of Marca España. Its vigor and international appeal make it one of the country's leading intangible values and an increasingly course of business for companies in the tourism industry.
In recent decades, the number of people studying Spanish as a second language has increased considerably. Every year nearly one million of people from across the globe visit Spain to discover, learn and practise Spanish. On average, they are younger than other tourists and spend a considerably longer time in the country.
The majority come from nearby countries, such as Italy, France and Germany. Nonetheless, increasing numbers of Americans now choose to pack their bags and cross the Atlantic to learn Spanish, despite the relative proximity of Latin America. Amongst the factors influencing their decision are the climate and culture, the hospitality of the Spaniards, the high level of security and wellbeing and the proximity of other European countries.
Language tourism also has an important knock-on effect on other sectors. Language-learning is combined with visits to monuments and sites of key social and cultural importance. Language tourists also make use of other complementary products such as sporting services and activities, hotels and restaurants, gastronomy and leisure. On average, these visitors spend over 2,000 euros per stay and in all they spend over €2 billion a year.
The immense majority of people travelling to Spain to learn the language say they are so satisfied they would like to repeat. They become the best ambassadors of Marca España.
Language tourism has become a product with a vast potential and strategic importance from which an increasing number of companies are benefitting. Its importance for the tourism industry is such that the public authorities and industry have launched a new brand Estudiar en España [Study in Spain]. It seeks to promote language tourism and transmit a united message, highlighting some of the qualities that make the country the best destination for studying Spanish.
Language tourists: Around one million a year.
Average spending per person: More than €2,000.
Total tourist spending by these visitors: More than €2 billion