Tourism jumps in Europe’s 2nd most popular destination Spain

Tourism jumps in Europe’s 2nd most popular destination Spain

MADRID — The number of tourists visiting Spain jumped by 12 per cent in the first six months of 2016, as a mix of economic concerns and fears of extremist attacks continued to drive foreigners away from rival Mediterranean destinations.

Spain’s National Statistics Institute said Friday that some 33 million tourists arrived between January and June.

Britons continued to top the list at eight million, up 17 per cent. The figure for Germans, at 5 million, was up 7 per cent while French visitors increased 8 per cent to 4.6 million.

Spain, Europe’s most popular destination after France, hosted a record 68.1 million tourists in 2015, almost 5 per cent higher than the previous year.

Tourism represents some 11 per cent of the Spanish economy.