economy

Spain sees record tourist numbers for first half of year

Sun-and-sand model continues to boost sector, which is the country’s main driver of growth

A packed Playa de la Concha in San Sebastián, in the Basque Country.
A packed Playa de la Concha in San Sebastián, in the Basque Country.EFE

Spain set a new record for international tourist arrivals in the first half of the year with 28 million visitors, a 7.3-percent rise from the same period last year.

The figures were provided by a Tourism Ministry survey, and confirm that tourism remains the country’s main industry. The secret of the success behind the world’s third-largest tourism destination continues to be its sun-and-sand model.

Between January and June, British tourists represented the largest group of arrivals at 6.5 million, a 5.8-percent rise from 2013, followed by Germany with 4.6 million tourists (an 8.8-percent rise) and France with 4.2 million tourists (a 10.3-percent rise).

Catalonia was the most popular destination, with 7.1 million foreign tourists choosing the region for their holidays.

The month of June also set a new record, with 6.6 million arrivals, a 4.5-percent increase.

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