Foreign tourists aid Spain's recovery, up 4.6%

48.8 million since start of year. Italians down 9.9%

22 October, 12:27

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, OCTOBER 22 - Foreign tourism is a key sector helping Spain get out of the economic crisis, according to data on the month of September released Tuesday by tourism ministry agency Frontur. Foreign tourism picked up 4.6% since the beginning of the year compared to the same period in 2012, Frontur said.

    Overall 6.5 million tourists visited, 6.7% more compared to the same period last year.

    Italian tourists decreased 9.9% - after the 19% registered in 2012 - along with visitors from Portugal, down 8.4%. Tourists from northern countries grew 17.7% - some 3.6 million - while Russian tourists grew 30% - about 1.3 million.

    The most popular regions were Catalonia - up 6.6% and covering 25.9% of all arrivals - the Balearic islands - up 7.3% with 20.5% of the total, Andalusia - up 3.9% and 13.1% of the total and Valencia - up 11% and 9.9% of the total.

    Madrid went down, attracting 6.4% but was chosen by 3.1 million foreigners, 6.7% less than last year. September however recorded a slight growth, up 1.5%. (ANSAmed).

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