Ash costs Spanish tourism 450 million euros weekly: industry

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Cancellation of hotel bookings because of the volcanic ash disruption affecting airlines will continue until the end of April, at a weekly loss to Spanish tourism of 450 million euros, an industry association said on Wednesday.

"We have noticed cancellations, even for the end of April, on the part of travellers and tour operators," Spain's association of tourism accommodation and hotels (CEHAT) said in a statement.

The weekly loss figure includes 200 million euros (270 million dollars) in lost revenues by hotels and other forms of accommodation.

The rest of the loses affect restuarants, entertainment venues, car rental agencies and other forms of transportation and services used by travelers.

Spain is the world's third most popular tourism destination after France and the United States, according to the United Nation World Tourism Organisation.

The tourism sector accounts for around 10 percent of Spain's economy.

© 2010 AFP

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