Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Spain is world number 3 spot for tourists

23 January 2014, 08:47

Madrid - Spain announced Tuesday it has retaken the number three spot in world tourism in 2013, overtaking China by luring a record 60.6 million international visitors.

Foreign tourist arrivals surged by 5.6 percent in the year, the government said, boosting the eurozone's fourth largest economy after a long, job-wrecking recession.

"The new figures for 2013 allow our country to retake the number three position in this indicator after having overtaken China," Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy boasted.

Spain now stood behind only France with 83 million international tourist arrivals and the United States with 67 million, Rajoy said.

Income from foreign tourists hit record levels, too, a significant contribution to the Spanish economy, which has just emerged from five years of stop-start recession that left the nation with a 26-percent unemployment rate.

Spending by international tourists in the first 11 months of 2013 surged by 8.7% from the same period last year to $76bn, government figures showed.

Even without the official figures for the whole year, it is already possible to say that 2013 was a record in terms of tourism spending, Rajoy said.

"The implications of these figures are clear to everyone," Rajoy said.

The tourism industry accounted for 10.9% of Spain's total economic output in 2012, and 11.9% of all jobs, the prime minister said.

British tourists led the way to Spain in 2013, with some 14.3 million of them accounting for 23.6% of all foreign tourists, said the report by Spain's Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry.


Next came Germany with 16.2% of the total, France with 15.7%, and Nordic countries with eight percent.

Russian tourists accounted for 2.6% of the total, but their numbers showed the biggest leap, soaring by 31.6% from the previous year.

The top destinations in Spain were Catalonia, which drew 15.5 million foreign visitors, or 25.7% of the total, followed by the Balearic Islands such as Majorca with 11.1 million international arrivals, or 18.3% of the total.

Spanish tourism industry association Exceltur predicts the tourism industry will grow by 1.8% in 2014.

Besides Spain's attractions, such as its beaches, the tourism industry said it benefited last year from misfortune in Egypt, where political turmoil scared away visitors.

Egypt lost 2.5 million tourists from June up to the end of the year, estimated Exceltur vice president Jose Luis Zoreda. "Curiously, Spain's tourists grew by 3 million," he added.

Many of the visitors diverted from Egypt were budget tourists, however, Zoreda said.

Spain's economy emerged from a two-year downturn by posting 0.1% growth in the third quarter of 2013.

The economy expanded by 0.3% in the final quarter, Spain's prime minister said, confirming an estimate by his finance minister ahead of the release of official data.

The Spanish government is tipping an overall economic expansion of 0.7% in 2014.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...