This article deals with the commodification of Spanish as a second language (ELE) in Spain. First, we introduce the theoretical framework of studies on the commodification of language and on the discursive apparatus developed in Spain from the 1990s to draw attention to the economic value of Spanish; we propose that this apparatus should be understood as part of a dispositive for the international promotion of Spanish language. We then examine the idea of ELE in Spain as language industry. We argue that that the cooperation between public institutions and private entities has conformed this sector as linguistic tourism. This has ideological implications (standardization and commodification of language) and professional consequences (lack of legitimacy, job insecurity). We conclude by raising some key questions to outline a critical approach to ELE, which would focus on Spanish language teaching in relation to institutional regulation (language policy), job market conditions, relations between knowledge and interest, and other social and political issues.