Foreign tourists who visited Spain in the past six months spent 26.35 billion euros ($35.4 billion), up 7.8 percent from January-June 2013 and new record for any six-month period, the government said Monday.
Visitors from Britain led with an outlay of 5.21 billion euros, an increase of 10.2 percent, followed by Germans, whose spending rose 9.4 percent to 4.39 billion euros, and people from the Scandinavian countries, whose expenditures rose 7.1 percent to nearly 2.8 billion euros, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Trade said.
The Canary Islands was the region where most of the tourist spending occurred during the first half of this year - 6.07 billion euros, a gain of 13.9 percent.
In July alone, foreign tourists in Spain spent 6.22 billion euros, 3.9 percent more than during the same month the year before, a total that also set a record.
During the first half of the year, 28 million foreign tourists came to Spain, far more than visited competing tourist destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia or Turkey.
Tourism is one of the main sources of income for the Spanish economy. In 2012, it contributed 10.9 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product and employed 2.1 million people, according to figures compiled by the National Statistics Institute.