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9 Million tourists visit Spain in Q1 of 2011

Source: IANS / EFE - Tue 26th Apr 2011

Spain received nine million foreign tourists in the first quarter of 2011, a 2.9% increase on the same period last year, according to a survey results released Monday.

The increase is almost 10 times greater than that recorded in the first quarter of last year, which was 0.3%.

The survey results were released by the Industry, Tourism and Trade Ministry.

Britain continued, through March at least, to be the main source of foreign visitors, sending 1.8 million tourists to Spain, but that number was 4.8% below the figure for the same period last year.

After Britain came Germany, with 1.47 million tourists, a decline of 3.7%.

The percentage increase in tourist arrivals from The Netherlands was particularly noteworthy, however, rising 22.3% compared to last year's first quarter to 376,959; followed by Belgium with 307,993, a 20% rise; the Nordic countries with 11.7% (964,671) and Italy with 10.9% (623,038).

The Canary Islands, welcomed a third of the foreign tourists during the first quarter, with 2.7 million, a 15.2% increase over the same period last year.

Just in March, the Canaries received 28.2% more foreign tourists, given that many vacationers changed their previous travel plans because of the political instability in the North African countries.

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