MADRID, (PNA/Xinhua) — The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain rose by 7.1 percent in August when compared to the same month of 2012 to 8.3 million, breaking a record high for the second consecutive month after July registered a total of 7.8 million visitors.
According to data of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism published on Monday, the increase in August was mainly due to visitors coming from France whose arrivals increased by around 153,000, a 9.3 percent rise.
Meanwhile, arrivals from Britain, Germany and Nordic countries increased by 6.8, 13.5 and 18.9 percent respectively, while those from Italy decreased by 7.1 percent.
The Mediterranean coast was the most visited place in August: Catalonia received 27.1 percent of the total thanks to tourists from Russia and France.
Catalonia was followed by the Balearic Islands, whose visitors represented 24.9 percent of the total mainly thanks to visitors from Germany.
The Ministry reported that Spain received a total of 42.3 million of foreign visitors in the first eight months of the year, 4.5 percent more when compared with the same period of 2012.
The increase was mainly due to visitors from the Nordic countries whose arrivals increased by 18.1 percent to 3.2 million of visitors. Tourists from Britain and Germany increased by 4.8 percent and 6.2 percent respectively, while those coming from Russia increased by 30.7 percent.
Tourists from Italy and Portugal, both countries seriously affected by the economic crisis, decreased by 11.9 percent and 7.6 percent respectively.
Monday also saw the National Institute of Statistics (INE) publish data about overnight stays that reached 42 million only in Augusts also breaking a record high according to the INE.
The tourist influx to Spain has helped in the summer to boost Spain’s economy and reduce the number of unemployed people in the country, which is around 26 percent.
Spain now receives the fourth largest amount of tourists globally, but given this data it could be the third most important tourist destination in the world in 2013, according to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai.