Another record rise in tourists visiting Spain
20 January 2006, MADRID — Spain saw the highest number of tourists for six years in 2005.
20 January 2006
MADRID — Spain saw the highest number of tourists for six years in 2005.
The number of foreign visitors rose by six percent to 55.6 million.
It is the highest increase since 1999, according to new figures released by the ministry of industry, tourism and commerce.
Low-cost airlines were said to be the main reason behind the record numbers of tourists.
But government sources said many visitors were also spending less on their trips, renting flats or staying with friends or family instead of in hotels.
This type of holiday rose by 10 percent during 2005.
Each tourist spent 5 percent more each day than the previous year, but overall the amount they spent on their holidays fell by 2 percent.
Pedro Mejía, secretary for tourism and commerce, said the pattern in Spain echoed what was happening in other countries, with fewer people taking package holidays, more flying with low-cost airlines and spending less time away from home.
Tourists visiting Spain spent EUR 45.9 billion last year, a rise of between 4 and 4.5 percent.
Catalonia was the favourite tourist destination in Spain, with one in four foreigners opting to go there.
In all, 14 million people visited Catalonia, 12 percent more than the year before.
Second and third favourite destinations were the Balearic and Canary Islands respectively.
Britons were the biggest group by nationality to visit Spain. Over 16 million spent their holidays in the country.
The second-biggest group were the Germans (9.9 million). There was also a marked rise in French tourists, 8.8 million of whom came to Spain in 2005.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news