Tourist arrivals in Spain drop 8.1 pct in August

22nd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A total of 6.74 million tourists visited the country in Spain's peak holiday month.

Madrid – The number of foreigners who visited Spain in August was 8.1 percent lower than in August 2008, with a sharp drop in arrivals from key countries Britain and Germany, official data published Monday showed.

A total of 6.74 million tourists visited Spain in August, the peak month for holidays, the industry and tourism ministry said in a statement.

The number of British tourists, who account for one-quarter of all visitors to Spain, dropped 14.4 percent during the month while the number of German tourists, who represent 18 percent of all visitors, fell 14.8 percent.

During the first eight months of the year the number of foreign visitors to Spain fell 9.9 percent over the same period last year to 36.9 million as the recession leads northern European sunseekers to take their holidays at home this year or choose cheaper beach destinations like Egypt or Turkey.

The Spanish government expects Spain will record a 10 percent drop this year in the number of visitors.

The tourism sector accounts for about 11 percent of Spain's jobs and gross domestic product, with the bulk of the industry's income generated in its ageing "sun and beach" destinations that dot its southern coast.

In 2008, the country lost its spot as the second-most visited country in the world to the United States, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation. France remained in the top spot.

AFP / Expatica

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