Barcelona (ACN).- The number of international tourists visiting Catalonia continues to grow. The number of foreigners who visited Catalonia last August reached 2 million people (1,994,943 individuals), which represents a 14.7% increase compared to August last year, according to data released on Friday by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. In total, in the first eight months of 2012, 10.4 million foreigners visited Catalonia, a 12.1% increase compared to the same period last year. In the whole of Spain, international tourism increased by 5% in August, with 7.9 million visitors. 25.4% of them went to Catalonia. However, August was not a good month everywhere in Spain. International tourism in Madrid dropped by 29.7% last month, with only 381,620 international visitors recorded. The Spanish Ministry justifies the drop by pointing out that the figures last year were particularly high due to the celebration in the Spanish capital city of World Youth Day, organised by the Catholic Church.
The FRONTUR Survey, compiled by the Institute of Tourist Studies of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has indicated that in the first eight months of the year, 40.7 million international tourists visited Spain, a 3.6% increase compared to the same period of 2011. Between January and August 2012, 10.4 million visited Catalonia, which represents 25.6% of the Spanish total.
In August, 7.9 million foreigners visited Spain. 5.7 million of which arrived by plane and 2 million by car. Furthermore, 4.5 million stayed in a hotel or hostel, or went camping; 3.4 million went to their own home or to that of a relative or friend. Finally, 5.7 million visited Spain on their own, while the rest came through a tour operator.