Representing a year-on-year increase of 1.2% for the first quarter 2014, Andalucía's Institute of Statistics & Cartography recorded 3,874,628 tourists to the region, with this summer expected to continue the upward trajectory set by the third quarter 2013 peak of 8,415,000 visitors, up 5.3% on the same period 2012.
Typically, holidays account for 88.8% of visits, 8% visit family and friends, and 3.2% for other reasons. Málaga remains Andalucía’s most visited province (36%), followed by Cádiz (18%), Granada (11.3%) and Almería (10.5%).
Sharing the limelight, these positive results are reflected in the UK with London's latest tourist figures for 2013 by the National Institute of Statistics.
According to a press release from Blue Room Marketing & Communications in Madrid, London's crowd-pulling Big Ben in the Palace of Westminster drew a record-breaking 16.8 million international visitors – up 9% on 2012 with spending up a record €13.6 billon, €1.2 billon more than in 2012.
“The mix of culture, art, music and sport,” attributed by London mayor Boris Johnson, are key reasons behind the fantastic figures – qualities in abundance in Andalucía and Amsterdam.
Basking in the warm afterglow of crowning Europe's youngest monarch, King Willem-Alexander – rallying Dutch citizens in every corner of the globe last spring – Amsterdam is enjoying 2% higher tourist numbers than anywhere else in The Netherlands. The re-opening of Amsterdam's major museums in 2013 helped attract more than 11 million overnight stays in the city's hotels, a 7% increase on 2012 (Amsterdam Bureau of Statistics, February 2014).
The outlook is equally bright as the summer season gets underway, tunefully accompanied by 'I Am Amsterdam: The Musical' by Marbella Marbella Adelante! Director, Dario Poli and fellow Songwriter, David Mairs.
Promoting one of Europe's hippest cities and one I've visited on nine occasions, Dario's just given me a private viewing of the demo video ahead of the musical's simultaneous launch in Marbella. Featuring soulful lyrics, a catchy upbeat dance riff, and capturing the Dutch capital's colourful spectrum of life and culture, my 10th visit is clearly on the horizon. Dario will soon reveal all!
Meanwhile my blog 'European tourism quality strengthens consumer confidence' is posted on Marbella's Andalucía Lab with Álvaro Rodrigo's 'Tourism: A Great Invention!', describing the sector's many changes (múltiples cambios) in Spanish, http://www.andalucialab.org/blog/planificacion-turistica/