Everyone loves Spain: Tourist numbers break new record

Everyone loves Spain: Tourist numbers break new record
2016 is set to be a record breaking year for tourism. Photo: AFP
More than 10 million tourists visited Spain in August, setting a new record for visitor numbers.

A total of 10.1 million foreign visitors came to Spain during August, according to figures released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) on Friday marking a monthly record and an increase of 5.8 percent from August last year.

The first eight months of 2016 saw more than 52.5 million tourists have visited Spain, an increase of 10 percent from the same period in 2015.

The figure puts 2016 on track to surpass last year's record 68.1 million arrivals for the full 12 months.

The northeastern region of Catalonia was the most visited tourist destination attracting almost a quarter of all visitors to Spain.

The Balearics were the second most popular destination in Spain, followed by the Canary Islands.

Between January and August more than 12.5 million international tourists have visited the region, with its hugely popular city destination of Barcelona and countless beach resorts.

British holidaymakers remained the most numerous with 3.9 percent more arriving from the UK than in the same month last year, despite the drop in the value of sterling against the euro following June’s Brexit vote.

In fact 12.4 million Britons visited Spain in the first eight months of the year, more than 13 percent on the same period in 2015. year. Meanwhile French visitors numbers rose by 9.6 percent to 8.3 million. Germans were the third most numerous tourists with 7.6 million visiting.

Spain’s popularity as a tourist destination has been boosted by terror attacks elsewhere as wary travellers avoid trouble spots in North Africa, Turkey and even France.

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