TOURISM

Spain sets new record for tourist arrivals in first half of 2015

Over 29 million foreign visitors traveled to the country between January and June

A tourist in Cibeles square in Madrid.
A tourist in Cibeles square in Madrid.Gorka Lejarcegi

The figures from the first month of the summer season indicate that 2015 will be a banner year for tourism in Spain.

The country saw a record 6.67 million international tourist arrivals in June, a 1.4% rise on last year, which already represented a historic high.

In the first six months of the year, 29.2 million foreigners visited Spain, a 4.2% increase on 2014 and the best first half-year in the historical series compiled by the Tourism Studies Institute.

Catalonia continues to be the preferred destination for international travelers to Spain

A majority of visitors between January and June came from the United Kingdom (over 6.7 million, a 2.6% increase from 2014), followed by Germany (4.7 million, a 1.6% rise) and France (4.5 million, a 7.5% increase).

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Tourism from the United States and Switzerland surged 15.7% and 9.7%, respectively, on the back of their appreciating currencies against the euro.

On the other hand, tourism from Russia dropped 35% to just 360,746 arrivals in the first half of the year.

Catalonia continues to be the preferred destination for international travelers to Spain, 7.4 million of whom visited the northeastern region between January and June, representing 25.5% of total arrivals.

The second top destination is the Canary Islands, which received 5.6 million foreign tourists in the first half of the year, representing 19.3% of all international arrivals. The archipelago is followed by the Balearic Islands with 4.4 million tourists and Andalusia with 4.02 million.