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10.2 mln int’l tourists arrive in Spain in August

MADRID, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) — A total of 10.2 million international tourists arrived in Spain in August this year, a 1.9 percent decrease year-on-year, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported on Tuesday.

The figure meant that for the first time since 2011, Spain does not register a record high in international arrivals.

The INE also reported that in the first eight months of the year, Spain received 57.3 million international tourists, which represented a slight decrease of 0.1 percent when compared with the same period of a year earlier.

Spain received 12.9 million tourists from Britain in the first eight months of the year, 8.3 million from France and 7.7 million from Germany, the INE said.

As for August, international tourists spent 11.54 billion euros in the country, a 1.8 percent increase when compared with the same month last year.

Spending per tourist reached 1,131 euros (1,307 US dollars), which meant a 3.7 percent rise year-on-year, and the average daily spending per tourist reached 139 euros, 10.7 percent more than in the same month of a year earlier.

“It is very positive that tourist spending continues to grow even in those markets such as the British, which registered a lower dynamism in the number of travelers this year after an exceptional 2017”, the State Secretary for Tourism, Isabel Oliver, said in a statement.

“We focus on a quality tourism model rather than a quantity one and therefore spending should be the indicator with which we measure the strength of our sector”, Oliver pointed out.

Oliver’s words are in line with the strategy of the government, which aims at encouraging spending per visitor, the secretary general of the Tourism Board of the Government, German Porras, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

“Spain is committed to transforming its tourism model and moving on from the huge number of visitors to an increase of spending”, Porras said. (1 euro=1.15 US dollars)

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