Record number of tourists come to Spain in 2007

21st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2007, MADRID (AFP) - The number of tourists arriving in Spain during the first seven months of 2007 reached 33.8 million, a 2.0 percent increase over the same time last year and a new record, the tourism ministry said Tuesday.

21 August 2007

MADRID (AFP) - The number of tourists arriving in Spain during the first seven months of 2007 reached 33.8 million, a 2.0 percent increase over the same time last year and a new record, the tourism ministry said Tuesday.

"Since three or four years ago we have been breaking records with respect to the arrival of international tourists in Spain," Spain's secretary of state for tourism, Pedro Mejia, told a news confernece.

Spain expects to end the year with around 60 million visits by international tourists, he said.

The country's tourist intake rose 4.5 percent in 2006 over the previous year to 58.4 million.

Spain has been the second most visited country in the world after France since 2004 when it unseated the United States, according to the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Britain, Germany and France, Europe's three biggest economies, accounted in that order for three-fifths of all tourist arrivals to Spain.

Between January and July 9.3 million British nationals visited Spain, a 0.7 percent decrease over the same period last year while the number of visitors from France during this time reached a historical record of 5.3 million, a 1.1 percent increase over the first seven months of 2006.

The number of visitors from the United States meanwhile jumped 23.5 percent to 655,353 -- the biggest increase for this segment in the last six years -- in part due to the America's Cup yachting race held in Valencia on Spain's eastern seaboard, said Mejia.

The number of tourists who arrived in Spain on a low-cost airline during the first seven months of the year rose to 12.4 million, a 24.1 percent rise over the same period in 2006.

Low-cost airlines accounted for 36.6 percent of the total number of passengers who arrived by air in Spain between January and July.

Tourism accounts for about one-tenth of Spain's gross domestic product.

[Copyright AFP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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