The Spanish language, a global resource of rising value
According to all the experts and indicators, the Spanish language offers the greatest potential for growth, compared to others, in the 21st Century. Currently, Spanish, the language of Cervantes, is spoken by nearly 500 million people around the world and according to forecasts, the figure will have grown to 600 million by the year 2050. This is thanks, in part, to the activities of the Instituto Cervantes since 1991 and those of other national, regional, local and academic institutions, including the international promotion of the Spanish language and culture by the Regional Government of Castile and Leon .
The promotion and teaching of the Spanish language to foreigners and the accompanying dissemination of Spanish and Latin American culture around the world, represent a sector with excellent possibilities of growth.
The efforts of a number of different public and private organizations (among them the Castile and Leon Regional Government, the Instituto Cervantes, Salamanca Town Hall and the University of Salamanca) are of increasing importance for the development of a new kind of tourism and to meet the needs of foreign visitors coming to Spain.
Since 1995, demand for this kind of tourism has increased at a yearly rate of around 10%. In 2006, some 150,000 tourists visited Spain, with total spending of 255 million Euros. The types of Spanish language courses available to overseas students in Spain include those offered by private centres, with 325 schools accounting for 80% of all visitors and public Universities, with over 40 centres, providing teaching for the rest.