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TOURISM

Foreign tourist numbers hit yet another record in September

Overseas arrivals climbed 4.7 percent from the same month in 2012 as Madrid regains its luster

Overseas investors continued to flock to Spain in September, helping to underpin an economy still suffering badly from rampant unemployment and weak household spending, which has severely depressed domestic demand.

According to the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry's latest Frontur survey, overseas arrivals last month climbed 4.7 percent from September 2012 to a record 6.5 million. The ministry highlighted the influx of tourists from Russia, the Nordic countries and Britain.

Inflows of visitors from Italy broke a downward trend initiated in the middle of the year, with an increase of 7.5 percent, with their preferred destinations being Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

All of the main tourist destinations enjoyed growth, with Catalonia at the forefront with an increase of 7.5 percent. Madrid recovered from August, when the number of foreign visitors plunged 22.2 percent, with an increase in September of 6.4 percent.

In the first nine months of the year overseas arrivals climbed 4.6 percent year-on-year to 48.8 million, with again the Nordic counties and Britain the markets that experienced most growth in absolute terms. However, the biggest relative increase was for Russian visitors, at 30.0 percent to 1.363 million.