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Number of tourists visiting Spain from abroad fell 87% in October

12/02/2020 | 04:20am EST
FILE PHOTO:  A tourist walks with his suitcase, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Barcelona

MADRID (Reuters) - International tourist arrivals to Spain fell 87% year-on-year in October, official data showed on Wednesday, after authorities across Europe imposed new travel restrictions to curb an increase in coronavirus infections.

The new restrictions accentuated the blow to Spain's tourism industry, after a hoped-for recovery in the summer failed to materialize.

The year-on-year decline in October was similar to the decline in September and steeper than the 76% decline in August.

Over the first ten months of the year, some 17.9 million foreign tourists visited Spain, around 76% fewer than in the same period of 2019, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said.

France now accounts for the largest group of foreign tourists after the number of Britons - who last year made up a fifth of international visitors - plunged 82% between January and October.

The region that was most popular with tourists in the first ten months of the year was Catalonia, while the number of visitors to the Canary and Balearic archipelagos plummeted 68% and 87% respectively.

Canary Islands officials expects a small recovery in the winter season and target 5 million visitors this year down from 15 million in 2019.

Tourists spent 90% less in October than in the same month a year ago, INE said. In the first ten months of the year, foreign tourists spent 18.6 billion euros down from 81.8 billion euros in the same period in 2019.

(Reporting by Cristina Sanchez and Inti Landauro; Editing by Ingrid Melander)

By Cristina Sanchez


© Reuters 2020
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