The US is home to the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.
But while Spanish is the lingua franca of the region, the Spanish-language news website The Next Google says that in the US, there are a staggering number of Spanish-only spots that offer only limited access to American content.
In fact, The Next Internet says there are only 3,000 of the country’s more than 30,000 Spanish-centric travel destinations.
In the US and Canada, there is a number of popular Spanish-inspired places that offer limited access in American content, including the Spanish American Cultural Center in Toronto, a Spanish-themed restaurant in Los Angeles, and a Spanish themed cinema in New York.
But the Spanish tourism market in the United States has not only been severely hit by the recession, it has also grown by a staggering 30% since 2008, according to a recent study by the University of California, San Diego.
The research group looked at data from a survey of Spanish speaking Americans between 2007 and 2010 and found that the percentage of Americans who visited a Spanish cultural center in the past year doubled from 4% to 13% in the first two years of the recession.
And in the third year, the number increased by more than 50% to 18%.
The data showed that the number of American tourists visiting Spanish-style spots in Spain rose from an average of 2,000 in the two years following the 2008 recession to an average 1,700 in the second quarter of 2010.
In a report published by The Atlantic, the authors write that while American Spanish-based travel is on the decline, the region’s Spanish-specific destinations remain the most sought-after.
“In the U.S., more than 80% of the Spanish speaking population now speaks Spanish as their first language, and they are a popular destination for those who want to learn more about Spanish, explore the country and meet the local culture,” the authors wrote.