The Way of Saint James continues to break records in 2024 by receiving its 100,000th pilgrim in just 121 days. Milagros del Rosario Mini Bailey, a 60-year-old Peruvian resident of Florida, was honoured on 13 May at the Pilgrim Welcome Office after completing the Portuguese Coastal Way from Porto.

The event, which was held in the facilities of Rúa Carretas, was attended by the President of the Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, and the Mayoress of Santiago, Goretti Sanmartín, among other authorities.

During the ceremony, Bailey, accompanied by her husband, expressed her astonishment and gratitude for the warm welcome. ‘It has been a great surprise. We are very happy, it has been a very nice experience and everything went well, apart from the rain,’ she said.

Bailey recounted that her husband had been planning this trip for three and a half years and highlighted the good fortune of being able to do the Ruta Xacobea.

Records and diversification on the way

The Way of Saint James already achieved a record last year, with the visit of more than 446,000 pilgrims. And 2024 follows the same path, since it has received more than 114,000 visitors in just five months.

The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alfonso Rueda, highlighted the growing number of passengers and the diversification of routes. ‘We are not going to be obsessed with figures: what we are interested in is welcoming them,’ Rueda said. He also stressed that the Xacobean Route is becoming more and more deseasonalised, with a more balanced distribution of walkers between the different routes. In 2004, only 24% of pilgrims opted for routes other than the French, a figure that has increased to 53% today.

The mayoress of Santiago, Goretti Sanmartín, defended during the event a model of conscious and responsible tourism, which preserves the heritage and maintains the essence of the Galician capital as a point of welcome. ‘Compostela continues to be a very special place for pilgrims who come to the city,’ said Sanmartín.

The tribute to Milagros del Rosario Mini Bailey and the statements of the authorities reflect the commitment of Santiago and Galicia with the values of the Camino. Each year, the autonomous community welcomes a growing number of travellers and diversifies experiences, while working for a sustainable and committed tourism.