MADRID (AP) — Spain says the tourism industry in the economically ailing country is growing steadily and recorded its best-ever monthly tourist arrivals figures.
Government statistics published Friday says 7.9 million tourists arrived during the peak vacation month of August, 5 percent up year-on-year compared to 2011 and around 200,000 more than in the previous record month, July.
The largest jump in arrivals was from Russia, with a 47.5 percent increase, followed by neighboring France, which went up by 17.5 percent. The biggest number of tourists — 1.9 million, 24.1 percent of the market — came from Britain.
Tourism represents around 11 percent of Spain's gross domestic product and the government is trying to boost trade and create employment after the 2008 collapse of the construction industry.