In Spain, the demand for culture represents more than 50 billion euros and, according to several studies, activities linked to cultural heritage in the European Union as a whole generate revenue of around 350 billion euros per year. Furthermore, to a growing extent, the cultural heritage is closely related to other economic activities such as tourism.
More than 500,000 international visitors choose Spain each year as a destination for mountaineering tourism. Moreover, annual overnight stays associated with nature tourism in our country amount to 35 million. Besides representing a relevant economic sector as a source of revenue and jobs, nature tourism also contributes to preventing tourist activities from becoming a threat to biodiversity.
30% of European tourists is aware of the needs and values of sustainable tourism, nearly 20% seeks green destinations or services and 10% plans all holidays in this way, according to a study conducted by the International Ecotourism Society. Among the markets with the greatest sensitivity to this tourism modality is Germany, where 65% demands a quality ecological environment and 42% believes it is important for the accommodation to meet appropriate sustainability standards.
Shopping tourism as a segment has one of the greatest potentials for growth in the sector, as 50% of people travelling in the world give shopping as the first or second reason for their trip, with this percentage rising even further among visitors from emerging countries. According to the World Tourism Organisation’s Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, “shopping tourism has gone from being a complementary factor to becoming consolidated as a primary reason for tourists choosing a particular destination, especially in markets such as China, Russia or Brazil”.