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Global Exchange forecasts that Spanish tourists will buy 25 % more dollars this summer

21 • 07 • 2022

Global Exchange's foreign exchange branches at Madrid-Barajas Airport

The Global Exchange Group has carried out an analysis of the movements of foreign currency purchases and sales in Spain that are expected this summer, both by Spanish citizens travelling to non-EU destinations and also taking into account the origin of citizens from outside the European Union entering Spain. These data have been compared with those obtained in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

According to data provided by the Spanish government, although the 2022 summer season is expected to see the recovery of 90 % of international tourists compared to 2019 in Spain, there are some trends of change in terms of the purchase of euros. It depends on the origin of non-EU tourists, as well as on the movement of non-euro currency purchases by Spanish tourists.


Purchase of foreign currency by Spanish tourists

According to forecasts by the multinational —the world’s second largest airport currency exchange operator— the demand for dollars for travel to the United States and other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America is expected to grow by 25 %. This continues to be the most important market for the sale of foreign currency from outside the euro zone, representing more than 70 % of the sales of Global Exchange, the leading operator in Spanish airports.

The sale of dollars is followed by the purchase of pounds (more than 8 %), Mexican pesos (more than 3 %), Moroccan dirham (more than 1 %) and UAE dirham (more than 1 %). Thus, the South American countries as a whole, together with the United Kingdom, Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates will be the main countries of visit for Spanish travellers this summer, according to currency exchange requests. In 2019, the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen were among the main purchases by Spanish tourists. This shows that in 2022, Asian currencies will drop out of the top 5 foreign currency sales for Spanish tourists.


Euro purchases by non-EU tourists

As for movements in euro purchases by tourists from non-EU countries, Global Exchange forecasts that the five main markets of origin will be the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Mexico and Morocco.

With regard to the purchase of euros by tourists from countries outside the euro area, the dollar is expected to be the currency most exchanged at Global Exchange branches this summer. Dollars are expected to be exchanged for euros in 80.8 % of the operations, followed by the British pound (more than 3 %), the Swiss franc (more than 1 %), the Mexican peso (more than 1 %) and the Moroccan dirham (more than 0.6 %).

‘After the pandemic, Spain remains the top destination for tourists from outside the Eurozone. The recovery of activity at Spanish airports is now a reality’— Isidoro Alanís, President and CEO of the company.


Recovery of pre-pandemic activity in summer

Global Exchange handles 16 % of the total amount of international tourists from non-euro countries who visit our country every year. According to data of May, the Salamanca-based multinational has recovered 73 % of the volume of operations with international tourists from non-euro zones compared to pre-pandemic times. The most affected by the restrictions area on the entry and exit of travellers is Asia, a situation which leads us to believe that visits to Spain by citizens from China and Japan, as well as trips by Spaniards to these destinations, will be slowed down.

Both national and international media have talked about these forecasts. You can read the full article on El Economista (only available in Spanish).

More information


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