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ECONOMY

July tourism figures up 3.2 percent on last year

Nearly 8 million visitors came to Spain last month, the majority from the United Kingdom

Holidaymakers on the beach at Malvarrosa, Valencia. The region is one of the most popular for tourists. Ampliar foto
Holidaymakers on the beach at Malvarrosa, Valencia. The region is one of the most popular for tourists. EFE

The ailing Spanish economy is continuing to find some solace thanks to its tourism sector, as more and more holidaymakers opt to travel to Spain for their summer vacation.

Around 7.9 million foreigners came to the country in the month of July, which is a 3.2-percent rise compared to the same month a year before. The figure is also the highest since 1995, when the current data series began.

Visitors from the United Kingdom were the most numerous, with 23.2 percent of tourists who visited Spain in July harking from that country. Next came France (16.1 percent) and Germany (15 percent). The most popular destinations for UK tourists were Andalusia and the Valencia region, while most French opted for Catalonia. The Germans preferred the Balearics and the Canary Islands.

The biggest increase in terms of location was seen among visitors from the Nordic countries, with 26.5 percent more tourists coming to Spain in July compared to the year before. The amount of visitors from Ireland, meanwhile, went up 13 percent.

Countries that have been harder hit by the crisis saw fewer tourists visiting Spain, such as Italy (down 14.5 percent) and Portugal (down 8.7 percent). The number of visitors from Russia, however, continues to rise.

Catalonia and the Balearic Islands were the destination for more than half of the total of international tourists in July, while 12.7 percent opted for Andalusia, and 10.7 percent for the Valencia region. The only region to see a fall in the number of visitors was Madrid, which lost 10.7 percent.

From January to July this year, Spain received 34 million tourists, a rise of 3.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012.