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Spain welcomed 52 Million foreign visitors in 2010

Tue 25th Jan 2011

The number of foreign visitors coming to Spain last year grew by 1 %, the first increase since 2007, according to statistics released over the weekend.

Visitors travelling from the UK represented the largest tourist market, accounting for 23.6 % of all visitors (almost 12.5 million)during 2010. Despite a decrease of 6.5 % on the previous year, the UK remains the largest market, followed by Germany with 8.8 million visitors, and then France with 8.1 million visitors for 2010.

The authors of the report - The Institute of Tourism Studies, Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, surveyed Spain's Frontier Tourist Movement (FRONTUR), and found that a total of 52.6 million foreign visitors overall visited Spain last year.

"The forecasts for 2010 predicted a drop in tourism, but the sector has broken the forecast six months ago and ended the year with positive and tourist arrivals have been the first positive annual growth since 2007," a statement from FRONTUR read.

"After a first half of year when tourist arrivals were affected by the crisis and external factors such as the eruption of Iceland, the industry experienced a recovery in the second half of the year. Moreover, this positive development in 2010 has allowed tourism to GDP gains for the first time in ten years."As a result, Spain received 2.6 million international tourists in the last month of the year, showing a fall of 4.6% compared to the same month in 2009. Catalonia was the main destination for foreign visitors, representing 25% of visits and over 13.1 million tourists - an increase of 3.7 % compared to the previous year.

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