Number of foreign visitors to Spain risesApril 26th, 2011 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS
Madrid, April 26 (IANS/EFE) Spain received nine million foreign tourists in the first quarter, 2.9 percent more than during the same period in 2010, according to a survey results released Monday.
The increase is almost 10 times greater than that recorded in the first quarter of last year, which was 0.3 percent.
The survey results were released by the Industry, Tourism and Trade Ministry.
Britain continued, through March at least, to be the main source of foreign visitors, sending 1.8 million tourists to Spain, but that number was 4.8 percent below the figure for the same period last year.
After Britain came Germany, with 1.47 million tourists, a decline of 3.7 percent.
The percentage increase in tourist arrivals from The Netherlands was particularly noteworthy, however, rising 22.3 percent compared to last year’s first quarter to 376,959; followed by Belgium with 307,993, a 20 percent rise; the Nordic countries with 11.7 percent (964,671) and Italy with 10.9 percent (623,038).
The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, welcomed a third of the foreign tourists during the first quarter, with 2.7 million, a 15.2 percent increase over the same period last year.
Just in March, the Canaries received 28.2 percent more foreign tourists, given that many vacationers changed their previous travel plans because of the political instability in the North African countries.
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