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Tourist Spending in Gibraltar Nearly £274 Million in 2018

Soraya Fernández · Photos: Fran Montes

Gibraltar Tourism Economy: Tourist Spending in Gibraltar Nearly £274 Million in 2018

Over 11 million people visited the Rock last year by land, sea and air, 4.4% more than in 2017. Spanish tourists took over these statistics.

Gibraltar remains a fashionable destination, and tourism is one of the Rock’s main economic driving forces. Expenditure of the tourists who visited Gibraltar in 2018 approached £274 million, £21 million more than in 2017, representing an increase of 8.6%. Most of this spending came from Spanish tourists.

The breakdown is as follows: Spanish excursionists spent £193.8 million; hotel guests £45.3 million; cruise ship passengers £16.7 million (see full report on cruise ship tourism); yacht visitors £607,000; supplemental accommodations £13.8 million; and transit visitors £3,2 million.

Last year, 11 million people visited the Rock, which is 4.4% higher than in 2017 (10.5 million people).

This is reflected in the report filed by the Government of Gibraltar, in which cross-border workers were excluded, due to their inclusion undermining the validity of these statistics. As Reach-Alcance already reported, this group that enters the Rock every day to conduct their workday is estimated to be over 15,000 people.

Gibraltar Cruising Industry

According to this report, based on the data of visitors arrivals provided by the Gibraltar Borders and Coastguard Agency, Customs and the Gibraltar Tourism Board, the number of tourists arriving in Gibraltar by land saw the highest increase, 5.3% with 10.4 million people – compared to 9.8 million in 2017.

Arrivals by air recorded a significant decrease of 24.5%, with 183,691 passengers arriving by plane in 2018 compared to 243,314 the previous year.

The number of arrivals by sea also fell, albeit very residually, with 419,893 visitors compared to 420,060 the previous year. Of these, 406,998 were cruisers, a sector that has experienced an increase.

Sunborn yacht Hotel Gibraltar Tourism

According to the Government of Gibraltar, 67% of excursionists by land were Spanish, 15% British and 13% from other European Union countries.
In addition, 88% of all air departures from Gibraltar were United Kingdom nationals, followed by other countries at 5%. The average stay of visitors departing Gibraltar by air was 2.8 days.

As for the cruise passengers, 72% were British and 16% were of other nationalities.

A unique destination with an extraordinary offering

Gibraltar Tourist Attractions

Gibraltar is a unique enclave that has so much to offer to visitors. The Upper Rock Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Northern Defences, the fact that it boasts the only free macaque population in Europe and its rich historical, cultural and religious heritage make the Rock a very attractive place to visit.

Gibraltar Northen Defences

Added to that the varied array of hotel services and its powerful commercial sector, as well as the continuous renovation of its attractions. Proof of this are the Windsor suspension bridge and the new viewpoints, one in the vicinity of Gorham Cave and the other, the fantastic transparent viewpoint, the Skywalk.

2019 is registering even better figures!


The tourism sector in Gibraltar continues to boom this year, despite the threat of a Brexit without agreement. Government figures from January to early August are higher than for the same period of 2017. Thus, from January to June of this year, five million people had visited Gibraltar via the border.

By month, the figures are even higher. A similar trend can be observed in relation to people arriving by air, with 139,014 visitors in July. Also, if last year more than a million people visited the Nature Reserve, everything seems to indicate that 2019 will end with a higher figure – unless we are to experience a unexpected surprise or a hard Brexit

Gibraltar Tourism / Economy: Tourist Spending in Gibraltar Nearly £274 Million in 2018

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