Spain set yet another new tourism record in 2017 receiving 82 million foreign visitors during the year placing the country second in world rankings.
It was widely expected ever since last years record breaking Easter but now the official figures released by the Tourism Ministry in Spain have confirmed that the country attracted in excess of 82 million visitors in 2017, and in doing so, set yet another record breaking year.
For the first time ever Spain leapfrogged the USA in terms of international tourist visitor numbers and officially ranked second in the worlds most popular destinations with only near neighbours France receiving more visitors.
This represents an increase of 8.9% in tourist numbers compared to 2016, the increase would have been greater had the independence troubles in Catalonia not dented confidence in Barcelona during the final quarter of the year.
A further record was broken in terms of expenditure with tourists in Spain spending around 87 billion euros during 2017, an increase of 12.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
Tourism growth is expected to continue this year with Exceltur predicting increases of 3.3%, attributing the slower growth to the recovery of markets including Turkey and Tunisia which have been marred by terrorism in recent years.