Since the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, tourism has taken up a central position in the recovery of Spain's severely damaged economy. If the first years after the recession signaled a considerable decline of the tourism sector, the later years in which those countries with the highest numbers of outgoing tourists to Spain had recovered, consolidated the tourism sector as one of the principal drivers of economic development. Testament to this are its contribution to a growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and decreasing unemployment, and its ability to stabilize the country's balance of payments. On the other hand, tourism has also proven to be a complex economic sector, in which various factors have come together in different forms. Faced with the impossibility to consider every single one of these factors, this study has limited itself to researching those indicators that shape the international character of Spain's cultural tourism sector, and subsequently determining how this sector performed from a macroeconomic perspective. The outcome of this study is to detect patterns that may allow for the development of more effective means for managing cultural tourism. The descriptive analysis of official cultural and tourism statistical data, and the synthetic representation of the results in various tables and graphs indicate that cultural tourism, at least in terms of international tourist arrivals, has indeed remained stable throughout the crisis, even though it has not grown significantly ever since.
Spain international tourism cultural tourism economic crisis culture and tourism statistics