The number of tourists and foreign visitors to Spain declined by 10% to 5.2m in June compared with the same month last year, registering a slight improvement on results recorded so far during the January-May
period. But in the first six months of 2009, foreign tourist arrivals have fallen by 11.4% to 23.6m.
The June fall was in line with the government's forecast for the summer months, versus the cumulative 11.8% drop for the year to the end of May. A total of 1.5m British tourists visited Spain in June – a decline of 11.6% on June last year, but a 6.2% improvement on the numbers seen between January to May. June is traditionally the fourth most important month of the year for the Spanish tourism industry which will be hoping for more improvement in the months ahead.
Currently, British tourists account for 26% of all Spain's visitors, but German visitors – who account for 18% of the total – also fell by 10.4%.
The weak pound sterling has not helped the Spanish tourism industry and it has also suffered a decline at its beach destinations as holiday makers increasingly look for different types of vacation.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Government has announced plans to spend around E.1bn ($1.4bn) to improve the country's tourism infrastructure this year – one of the biggest investments ever made by a country in the sector..