Spain gets € 49 bln revenue from tourism

Spain gets € 49 bln revenue from tourism
# 12 January 2011 08:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA-Economics. pain welcomed 53 million foreign tourists in 2010, an increase of 1.4 percent over the year before, according to provisional figures released Monday by the Industry, Tourism and Trade Ministry, Latin American Herald Tribune reported.

This puts Spain back in positive territory for the first time since tourist arrivals fell by 2.3 percent in 2008 and 8.7 percent in 2009, Minister Miguel Sebastian told a press conference.

Even so, the number of international tourists was 6.2 million less than the 59.2 million that visited the country in 2007.

The surge in tourist arrivals was accompanied in 2010 by a year-on-year increase of 2.5 percent in their spending, which added up to 49.14 billion euros ($63.9 billion).

While acknowledging that this looks like the road to recovery, Sebastian asked for caution with regard to the future, because “though there are positive indicators for 2011, we have to be prudent.”

The minister did say that the tourism sector is expected to perform better this year because “we’re beginning to see a certain recovery in the European economies.”

At the same time, Sebastian pointed out that last year’s growth in arrivals from countries like Russia and the Netherlands compensated for the decrease in tourism from the two principal sources of visitors to Spain: Germany, which fell by 1 percent, and Britain, which dropped 6 percent.

The minister also commented on the new law that bans smoking in enclosed public areas in Spain, and said that “it will not affect hotels,” because the same thing happened when smoking was prohibited on airplanes, and yet “we have seen that nothing happened.” EFE