Number of visitors to the Basque Country increased by 3.9 percent
There were 176,723 visitors registered in the hotel establishments of the Basque Country in March 2013, 6,557 up on the same month of the previous year, which is an increase of 3.9%, according to Eustat data. The number of visitors fell by 9.1% in Álava, but they increased by 2.0% in Bizkaia and by 12.4% in Gipuzkoa, compared to the same month in 2012.
The number of visitors from within Spain fell by 0.8% compared to March 2012 and visitors from abroad were up by 17.9%. Spanish visitors reduced their presence in Álava, where they were down by 13.5%, and in Bizkaia they fell by 1.4%, whereas in Gipuzkoa they rose by 7.0%. The number of foreigners dropped substantially in the three provinces: in Álava they were down by 11.8%, in Bizkaia they were down by 15.3% and in Gipuzkoa there was a decrease of 26.4%.
Registered overnight stays in March 2013 totalled 330,452, which was 8.0% up on March of the previous year, that is, there were 24,429 more overnight stays. The year-on-year performance of overnight stays was negative in Álava, where they fell 6.8%, but in Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia there were rises of 3.6% and 21.2%, respectively, compared to March 2012.
The average length of stay increased compared to March 2012: it rose from 1.80 days to 1.87 this March for the Basque Country. In Álava it rose 2.7%, increasing from 1.82 days in March 2012 to 1.87 days in March of this year; in Bizkaia it went from 1.81 to 1.84, with a percentage increase of 1.7%, and in Gipuzkoa it grew 7.9%, increasing to 1.77 and 1.91 days.
The bed occupancy rate rose by 7.9% for the Basque Country overall, going from an occupancy rate of 37.68% in March 2012 to 40.66% in March of this year. The only decrease was in Álava, where it went from 35.85% to 35.37%; In Bizkaia there was a rise of 7.5%, going from 38.11% in March 2012 to 40.96% this past March, whilst Gipuzkoa registered an occupancy rate of 42.61% for this March against 38.01% registered the previous year, representing a rise of 12.1%.
The number of visitors to rural tourism establishments in the Basque Country totalled 9,825 in March, which was 5.1% up with respect to the same month of the previous year, rising by 4.8% in Álava, 7.8% in Bizkaia and 4.2% in Gipuzkoa. There was a 5.0% overall rise in visitors from within Spain to the Basque Country: they were up 7.6% in Bizkaia and 6.3% in Gipuzkoa, but they were down 2.8% in Álava. The number of visitors from abroad increased by 7.4% in the Basque Country overall, with high percentage increases in the provinces of Álava and Bizkaia, although there was a notable percentage drop in Gipuzkoa.
There were 25,335 overnight stays in rural tourism establishments of the Basque Country in March, which was 42.4% up on the same month of the previous year, with significantly positive year-on-year rates in the three provinces.
The average length of stay per visitor increased with respect to March 2012, going from 1.90 days a year ago to 2.58 days this April.
The bed occupancy rate rose from 14.38% to 20.58%, due to the strong percentage increase registered in the three provinces.