MADRID—Spain received a total of 54.4 million international tourists in the first nine months of the year, hitting a new record high, according to data unveiled on Thursday by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
Tourists arriving from Britain increased by 3.1 percent in the period compared to a year earlier, reaching a total of 12.7 million. They accounted for 23.4 percent of the total.
The French were next with arrivals reaching 9.1 million, increasing 6.9 percent when compared with the first nine months of 2014 and representing 16.9 percent of the total.
The Germans were in the third place with 8.2 arrivals, which meant a 0.8 percent fall, representing 15.2 percent of the total.
Catalonia was the main destination with 13.9 million international tourists. The archipelago of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands were chosen as second and third destinations receiving a total of 10.4 million and 8.4 million international tourists.
The summer of 2015, which comprises the months of July, August and September, was the best summer in 10 years for Spain’s tourism, Exceltur, the association that encompasses big companies of the sector in Spain reported at the beginning of October.
Spain is the third most visited country in the world after the United States and France and attracting the second highest level of tourist expenditure.
Also, Spain ranked first in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum.