Spain’s best summer for tourism

Frontur, part of the Spanish Institute for Tourism Studies, has released figures showing Spain’s tourism industry has received record numbers this year.

Despite bad economic forecasts and Spain’s many issues with illegal properties, it seems that tourists still like to soak up the Spanish sun and this summer proved to be one of the best ever. According to the figures Spain received 20.9 million international tourists between July and September – the third busiest summer since records began.

The number has increased by 8.5% compared to summer 2010. It was thought that  protests and riots in the country may deter tourists from visiting. However, Spain was not the only European country to witness such events with Greece, Italy, France and England all seeing angry protesters.

Overall in the first nine months of 2011 Spain saw 45.8 million tourists arrive, which represents an increase of 8% over the same period in 2010.

The survey also showed an increase in the average length of each visit. Overnight stays showed a growth of 2%. The cost of holidays also increased with average hotel prices up by 1.2%.

Spain’s Minister of industry, tourism and trade, Miguel Sebastian said “We are at historical growth.

“If we maintain for the rest of the year the overall trend observed up to September, we will end 2011 with about 57 million international tourists visiting our country.”