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Foreign tourist numbers rise in Spain in 2011

01-11-2012 10:06 BJT

MADRID, Jan. 10 -- Spain received a total of 56.9 million foreign tourists in 2011, increasing 8.1 percent than 2010, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism Jose Manuel Soriait confirmed Tuesday.

The number of tourists traveling to Spain from other countries rose by 8.1 percent in comparison with 2010, when 52.6 million foreigners came to the country.

The data vindicates the prediction of the Ministry when at the start of 2011 it claimed 57 million tourists would visit Spain and means that 2011 was the best year for Spanish tourism in the last three years and the fourth best in history.

Only 2007 with 59.2 million visitors, 2006 with 58.4 million tourists and 2008, when 57.4 million foreigners came to Spain, have been more successful for the tourism industry.

There are several reasons for the good year enjoyed by the sector: a key factor was the continuing problems across North Africa, which put many potential visitors off visiting destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt.

The economic problems and the risk of encountering strike action in Greece also saw other tourists look towards Spain.

Meanwhile the improvement in some European economies, such as that of Germany and Britain also helped.

2011 saw a 9.1 percent rise in the numbers of British tourists coming to Spain, showing the return to popularity of what was always a favored destination for the British. 3.1 percent more Germany also came to the country, while there were also significant increases in the numbers of tourists from Italy (8.5 percent), Scandinavia (8.4 percent) and France (4.6 percent).

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: Xinhua

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