Great news for Spain this morning: Almost 2.8 million foreign tourists came to Spain last month, a 4.6 percent increase on January 2011, according to ThinkSpain.com.
These latest figures compiled by Frontur and released today by the Ministry of Industry show an increase of 122,000 foreign visitors in January 2012 compared with the same month the previous year, and suggests that the upward trend set last year is set to continue.
Tourism figures went up by 7.6% last year, reaching a total of 56.7 million foreign visitors in one year.
Most of the main source markets performed well, with the exception of Germany, that saw a slight (0.6%) drop, most noticeable in the Balearic Islands, Andalusia and the Comunidad Valenciana.
The UK, which accounted for 19.1% of all the foreign tourists that came to Spain in January, continues to be the most important source market, with an increase of 5.7% (28,628 more people) on last year, continuing the positive evolution it has been showing since the beginning of 2011.
France was the third-most important source market with 12.7% of the total number of foreign visitors and a year-on-year growth of 6.3%, whilst the Netherlands and Russia both showed noticeable increases with 40.4% and 61.4% more visitors respectively.
The Canary Islands is still the region that continues to benefit most from the tourism redirected from troubled countries like Tunisia and Egypt, with 33.7% of all foreign tourism. It was the region that saw the sharpest growth in absolute terms during the month of January with 70,000 more tourists than the first month of 2011 – an increase of 8.1%.
22.3% of foreign tourists headed to Catalunya, which saw a 8.2% rise in tourism – 46,600 more visitors in absolute terms. The region proved especially popular with visitors from the Netherlands and France.
Madrid, with the third-largest number of foreign visitors, recorded the highest year-on-year increase, with 15% (or 44,600) more tourists than in January last year, with noticeable increases in visitors from the UK, Germany, Latin America and the Netherlands.
In contrast, Andalusia saw its tourism figures drop by 10%, with 33,255 fewer tourists; the Comunidad Valenciana received 23,300 fewer (a 9.1% fall) and the Balearic Islands lost 25,400 visitors, a drop of 22.6%.