Tourist visits swell in Spain, bringing in unprecedented earnings
Spain, one of the world?s most popular holiday destinations, received a surge in visitors and tourism earnings in 2013, the Spanish Tourism Ministry said Monday.
The data is good news for Spain?s struggling economy, since the tourism industry accounted for nearly 11 per cent of the country?s total economic output in 2012, according to government data.
Last year, tourists spent a record 59 billion euros (80.6 billion dollars) in Spain, 9.6 per cent more than in the preceding year. The boost reflects an increase in both the amount of tourists and in average spending.
In all, more than 60 million tourists visited Spain during the course of 2013, with each visitor spending an average of 976 euros, up 3.7 per cent over 2012.
British and German visitors contributed the most to industry earnings, accounting for 20 and 16 per cent of tourist spending respectively.
Individually, US visitors spent the most, shelling out an average of 167 euros per day according to the Ministry study. They were followed by the Russians, who spent 138 euros.
The Germans and the Italians both spent an average of 102 euros per day. Among the least lavish spenders were the Dutch, who spent 92 euros per day, and the French, who spent 84.
Spain is the third most-visited tourist destination in the world, with many holiday seekers spending time in the northern region of Catalonia and in the Balearic Islands.
With the surge, Spain unseated China from the third most-visited tourist destination. Officials credited part of the upswing to political upheaval that made alternative destinations like Egypt less appealing for visitors.
France remains the most popular destination internationally, with 83 million tourists annually, followed by the United States with 67 million.