Foreign Tourists Spent Almost 8% More Last Year

International tourists who visited Spain in 2011 spent 52,796 million euros, representing a 7.9% increase, according to figures from the Tourism Expenditure Survey (Egatur) prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism published on Monday.

The average expenditure per tourist stood at 934 euros in 2011, 0.2% higher than the same period in 2010, while average daily spending rose by 4.6% to 102 euros.

UK and Germany lead the total tourist spending with 10,377 million euros (up 2.1%), and 8,669 million euros (also up 2.1%), respectively. Tourists from Scandinavia and France were those who most increased their spending, with increases of 10.1% and 12.8% respectively.

By region, Catalonia, with 21.4% of the total tourist expenditure and a growth of 7.4%, stood in the first position among the target destinations for 2011.

In December, foreign tourist expenditure increased by 5.2% to 2,811 million euros. Last month the average daily expenditure increased by 17.8% to 104 euros, while the average expenditure per tourist fell 0.4% to 1,033 euros.

El Mundo reported that the markets which contributed most to the growth of spending in December were Japan, United Kingdom, the Nordic countries and Switzerland.

The Canary Islands gathered a major part of the total revenues received with 32.7% of the total, or 918 million euros, and 14.5% more than in December 2010, followed by Catalonia, with 17.6% of the total expenditure, at 494 million euros, representing 1.7% less than the same month last year.