Tourism

Spain’s tourist sector breaks new records with 47.2 million visits

The figures up to August are the strongest ever seen, with 9.2m visitors last month alone

Spain received an all-time-record 47.2 million tourist visits during the first eight months of this year – a 4.1% rise from 2014, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

The figures, compiled through the ministry’s Tourism Border Movements Survey (Frontur), also show that a record number of 9.2 million visitors from other countries spent their vacations somewhere in Spain last month – a 1.6% rise from August 2014 figures. Britain and France accounted for most of the tourists in the eighth month of the year.

Spain saw a particular increase in the number of people visiting from South Korea, China and Japan

Spain has also seen a hike in the number of people visiting from Asia – specifically South Korea, China and Japan.

Catalonia received the most tourists between January and August with 12.11 million visitors (25.7% of the total 47.2 million). The northwest region was followed by the Balearics, with 8.7 million tourists from abroad, Canaries, with 7.5 million, and Andalusia, with 6.3 million.

The increased visits also mean a record summer, with a total of 24.7 million visitors during the months of June, July and August – a 3.2% rise from the same period last year.

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Helped by a stronger dollar, Spain also saw a 21.9% rise in the number of visitors from the United States (1.07 million) from last year, Frontur said.

However, the biggest fall was seen in the number of Russian tourists, whose figures dropped 36% in the first seven months of 2015 compared to last year. The number of Portuguese visitors also went down 2% during this same period.

Visitors from Britain, France and Germany made up 55.4% of the foreign entries into Spain during the first seven months. With 10.88 million, British tourists made up 23% of foreign visitors while France took 17.3% of the market with 8.16 million.

While Germany ranked third with more than seven million, the number of visitors from that country dropped slightly by 0.4% compared to last year.