The Camino de Santiago recorded historic figures in 2016

Up to 278,041 pilgrims completed the Camino de Santiago in 2016 as recorded by official data (6% more than in previous years).


What is the reason for this considerable increase?

On the one hand to the celebration of the Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis I, which has kept the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela open for almost a year.

Another important factor is the growing interest in the Camino de Santiago in foreign countries. Since 2012, pilgrims from other nationalities have surpassed Spanish pilgrims in percentage. In 2016 they accounted for 55% of the total.

We have received the visit of pilgrims from up to 147 different countries being Germans, Italians, Americans and Portuguese the most numerous.

For Antón Pazos, an expert from the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the exponential growth of the Way of St. James is disconcerting: “It has become a phenomenon in which Catholics, agnostics, people who are looking for themselves, Protestants… It was something unexpected fifty years ago” – he comments.

For the administrations and the tourist sector, these data are undoubtedly very encouraging. The work of the associations of friends of the Camino, concerned about preserving and caring for the different itineraries, and also of the Xunta de Galicia advising abroad on different aspects of the Jacobean route, are positive factors that encourage interest in the Camino de Santiago outside our borders.

Both public and private institutions are allocating a large amount of resources for the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructures (let’s not forget that 2021 will be the next Holy Year). The Tourism heading for 2017 amounts to 5.4%; 33% more for the Jacobean Route, up to 2 million euros.

Within this budget, it is planned to improve the signage of the English Way and the Fisterra-Muxía route. In addition, the recently officialized routes will continue to be improved: the Winter Way and the Portuguese Way along the coast.

2017 is presented as a very important year for the Camino de Santiago and its promotion, being key in the tourism of Galicia, and having beaten this same 2016 all records of influx of pilgrims. Do you think that this year we will manage to overcome these good data? If you want to be part of this experience, in Pambre tours we make it easy for you.

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