Spain’s overseas tourism soars however properly beneath pre-pandemic stage

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MADRID, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Foreign tourism to Spain rose quickly in August as looser journey restrictions tempted again summer time sunseekers although customer numbers remained at round half their pre-pandemic ranges, official statistics confirmed on Monday.

The variety of overseas vacationers visiting in August greater than doubled from a 12 months in the past to five.19 million however was nonetheless barely above half the extent seen in 2019, the National Statistics Institute stated on Monday.

Over the primary eight months of the 12 months, the variety of overseas guests was 15 million, or about 26% of the quantity in 2019, sharply undershooting the federal government goal’s for half 2019’s ranges.

Still, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto reacted positively to the Monday figures.

“The data strengthen the international tourism recovery and confirm Spain is perceived as a safe destination, she said in a statement on Monday.

Foreign tourists spent a total of 5.9 billion euros ($6.85 billion), up from around 2.46 billion euros in August 2020 but well below the 11.7 billion euros spent in August 2019.

Tourism, which represented about 12% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, all but collapsed in 2020, when the number of foreign tourists fell by more than 80% to 19 million, a level not seen since 1969.

($1 = 0.8619 euros)

(This story corrects to read “at round half” (not below half) their pre-pandemic levels, paragraph 1)

Reporting by Inti Landauro; enhancing by Nathan Allen and Jason Neely

Tourists sit at a bar's terrace amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ronda, southern Spain, August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca