Foreign tourists flock to Spain in record numbers

A record-breaking 21 million international tourists, including almost 5 million British and 3.5 million Germans, came to Spain between January and May this year, 8.2 percent more than in the same period in 2013.

Foreign tourists flock to Spain in record numbers
Areas like Barcelona's Las Ramblas have seen a tidal wave of mainly European tourists roll in in recent years. Photo: Flickr/rafaelsoares

Figures released on Monday from Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism have revealed that the huge rise in the number of people visiting Spain continues unabated.

According to the Frontur survey, 6.8 million tourists flocked to Spain in May alone.

The unprecedented boom in the sector shows no sign of slowing as 6.9 percent more Brits, 8.1 per cent more Germans and 11.1 percent more French people visited than in 2013.

Only Portuguese (0.59 million, down 2 percent) and American tourists (0.4 million, down 9.1 percent) came in lower numbers than last year, according to Spanish daily 20 Minutos.

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Spain’s Canary Islands experienced the biggest surge in incoming tourist traffic with a year-on-year rise of 13.1 per cent, followed by Andalucia with 10.1 per cent.

84 per cent of tourists arrive by plane and 66.5 per cent choose to stay in hotels.

In 2013, Spain overtook China to become the world's third most popular destination for international tourists, by luring 60.6 million visitors.

Those visitors splashed out a new record sum of €59.08 billion ($80.82 billion) as political unrest in Turkey and northern Africa saw tourists turn their attention towards Spain.

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