Spain is the most hospitable holiday destination

    Spanish hospitality

    Spain is the most hospitable holiday destination

    72 million tourists a year are a clear sign that holidaymakers feel welcome in Spain. However, Spain also excels in other hospitality criteria. For example, in terms of family friendliness, English language skills, helpfulness or taxi service quality.

    The most hospitable countries in Europe – ranking

    1.     Spain
    2.     Portugal
    3.     Turkey
    4.     Ireland
    5.     Croatia
    6.     Greece
    7.     Poland
    8.     Austria
    9.     Germany
    10.     Italy
    11.     United Kingdom
    12.     France
    13.     Iceland
    14.     Netherlands
    15.     Slovenia
    16.     Czech Republic
    17.     Bulgaria
    18.     Denmark
    19.     Norway
    20.     Sweden
    21.     Albania
    22.     Finland
    23.     Belgium
    24.     Luxembourg
    25.     Switzerland

    World’s most visited countries in 2023:

    • France – 83.6 million people
    • USA – 75.6 million
    • Spain – 75.6 million
    • China – 59.3 million
    • Italy – 52.4 million
    • United Kingdom – 35.8 million
    • Germany – 35.6 million
    • Mexico – 35 million
    • Thailand – 32.6 million
    • Turkey – 30 million
    • Austria – 28.1 million
    • Malaysia – 26.8 million
    • Hong Kong – 26.6 million
    • Greece – 24.8 million
    • Japan – 24 million
    • Canada – 20 million
    • Saudi Arabia – 18 million
    • Poland – 17.5 million
    • South Korea – 17.3 million

    The method of the study (January 2024)

    The aim of the study was to determine a ranking of the most hospitable countries in Europe. To this end, 25 popular holiday destinations were analysed in terms of the seven hospitality criteria mentioned below. The criteria are representative indicators whose evaluation is intended to give an indication of a country’s hospitality.

    Various sources were used to analyse the indicators:

    • The number of tourist arrivals was taken from the latest data from the World Tourism Organisation.
    • Information on the quality of English language skills in non-English-speaking nations is provided by data from the EF English Proficiency Index 2023 from the education provider Education First. Ireland and the United Kingdom were given a top score because English is the first lingua franca in these countries.
    • The assessment of family friendliness was taken from the ranking of the renowned US news magazine “US News”. The medium assesses the family friendliness of a nation based on global, representative surveys.
    • Information on the willingness to help is based on survey results published in the CAF World Giving Index 2022 by the charity organisation Charities Aid Foundation. The survey question was: “Have you helped someone you don’t know in the last few months?”. The higher the percentage, the more helpful the nation was rated.
    • The quality of the taxi service in various countries was analysed by experts from the property developer Essential Living in 2023. Their overall rating was also included in the assessment of this survey of the most hospitable countries.
    • For the visitor rating of the 50 most popular attractions in a country, reviews from the tourism platform Tripadvisor were analysed and the proportion of 5-star ratings in the total number of reviews was calculated. The pickpocketing risk was assessed using data from national police statistics on theft offences.

    Seven hospitality criteria used to analyse:

    • Tourist arrivals: A high number of tourists can be an indicator that visitors feel comfortable and welcome in the country.
    • English language skills: As English often serves as the first foreign language in tourism, the study analyses the extent to which English language skills are widespread in each country.
    • Family friendliness: This criterion refers to how well a country caters to the specific needs of families. A high level of family friendliness indicates that the tourism industry takes different groups of guests into account, even if this means extra effort.
    • Helpfulness: Based on survey data, the study analyses how often locals have offered their help to a stranger in the past year. This criterion reflects the general helpfulness and friendliness of the population.
    • Taxi service quality: The first impression of a country often begins with the taxi driver. The study scrutinizes how the quality of taxi service was rated in different holiday destinations to find out where the first point of contact for tourists is particularly friendly and helpful.
    • Top tourist attractions: Visitor ratings of each of the 50 most popular attractions were analysed. Many positive reviews reflect not only the quality of the sights, but also the service provided by locals around the attractions, such as ticket sales and guided tours.
    • Pickpocketing: The risk of pickpocketing is considered as an indicator of the safety that tourists experience in a country. Less crime indicates a more hospitable environment.

    A statistical procedure using a points system was used to calculate the ranking. The better the score in the respective indicator, the more points were awarded to the corresponding nation. Between 10 and 100 points were awarded for each indicator.

    Spain received the most points in total and took first place in the ranking of the most hospitable countries. All indicators and results were carefully researched and checked for plausibility. All data refer to the time of the survey. The survey was conducted in January 2024.

    Ole! A Warm Welcome Awaits in Spain: Exploring the Heart of Spanish Hospitality

    We fully agree in the result of this study having to deal with Spanish hospitality on a daily basis.

    Spain, the land of flamenco dancers, sun-drenched beaches, and vibrant cities, is also renowned for its warm and welcoming embrace. Spanish hospitality, deeply rooted in their culture and traditions, goes beyond just offering accommodation and services. It’s a genuine desire to make visitors feel at home, creating an experience that lingers long after their departure.

    Food as the Centerpiece of Connection:

    Sharing a meal is a cornerstone of Spanish life, and it extends to visitors as well. From the iconic tapas, small plates meant for savoring and sharing, to the leisurely lunches and long dinners, food becomes a way to connect and build relationships. Whether you’re invited to a family gathering or enjoy a lively meal at a local bar, expect generous portions, delicious flavors, and a genuine warmth from your hosts.

    Beyond the Tourist Trail:

    Spanish hospitality thrives on personalization. Locals are eager to share their hidden gems, favorite restaurants, and cultural insights. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself invited for a coffee, offered directions in broken English (but with much enthusiasm), or even included in a spontaneous street celebration.

    The Gift of Time:

    Unlike the fast-paced nature of many cultures, Spanish life embraces a slower pace. This translates to a more relaxed and attentive approach to service. Expect waiters to take their time explaining dishes, shopkeepers to offer personalized recommendations, and locals to engage in friendly conversations, all without the pressure to rush.

    The Importance of Community:

    Spanish culture fosters a strong sense of community. Neighbors greet each other on the street, families gather frequently, and public spaces are bustling with social interaction. As a visitor, this sense of community extends to you as well. You might find yourself invited to a local festival, included in a lively conversation at a bar, or simply offered a helping hand by a friendly stranger.

    Learning a Few Words Goes a Long Way:

    While English is widely understood in tourist areas, making an effort to learn a few basic Spanish phrases will go a long way in enriching your experience and unlocking the true depths of Spanish hospitality. A simple “Hola” (Hello), “Gracias” (Thank you), or “Por favor” (Please) will be met with warm smiles and an even more welcoming atmosphere.

    Embrace the Spirit:

    Spanish hospitality is more than just service; it’s a way of life. By opening yourself to the slower pace, the shared meals, and the genuine connections, you’ll discover a warmth and generosity that will leave you feeling like an honored guest, not just a tourist. So, embrace the spirit of Spanish hospitality, and let yourself be swept away by the warmth of this vibrant culture.


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