In 2010, the Ministries of Culture, Industry, Tourism and Trade, and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation developed a Plan for the International Promotion of Cultural Tourism 2010-2012 with the aim of promoting the destination “Cultural Spain”. In this line, the Ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism, and Education, Culture and Sport signed a protocol at the end of 2013 to promote Spain as a cultural tourism destination. The protocol, which ended in December 2015, sought to intensify the promotion of museums, performing arts and music events, thematic cultural routes, world heritage sites, manifestations of intangible cultural heritage, as well as the strategy “Study in Spain”.
In addition, Spain as a cultural tourist destination is embedded in the objectives and purposes of two lines of grants of the Sub Directorate-General for the Promotion of Cultural Industries and Sponsorship: the action and cultural promotion grants and those addressed to incorporate technology in the activity of cultural and creative sectors
The new Culture Plan 2020 of the Secretariat for Culture, for the period 2017-2020, includes a new protocol between the two Ministries to promote cultural tourism internationally as well as updating and disseminating the contents of the portal España es Cultura [Spain is Culture].
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018, 12.8% of all trips made in 2017 for leisure, recreation or vacation by residents in Spain were mainly for cultural reasons, specifically 12.5 million of trips. To these trips we have to add the 12.8 million visits of international tourists in 2017 which were mainly for cultural reasons, representing 18.1% of total trips made for leisure, recreation or vacation of this group. The total spending associated with travels which are mainly for cultural reasons amounted to 6,747.7 million EUR for residents in Spain and 13,923.6 million EUR for visits of international tourists.