23/08/2012 Canary Islands/Spain (BG) - According to a survey released yesterday by the Ministry of Industry, 821,969 foreign tourists visited the Canary Islands in July, 11,000 less than during the same month of 2011, representing a decrease of 1.4%. This drop is in stark contrast to the 4.4% increase in foreign visitors to Spain last month. 7.7 million foreign tourists visited the county in July, a new record for tourist numbers for the month.
Frontur, The Institute of Tourism Studies, who carried out the survey, noted that the drop in figures recorded in the Canary Islands breaks “the trend of increases” that had been recorded in previous months (except April).
Since January, the archipelago has been visited by 5,805,175 foreign tourists, 0.1% more than during the same time period of 2011, a year that ended up setting a new record for tourist arrivals to the Canary Islands as more than 12 million people visited.
In July, Spain received a total of 7.7 million foreign tourists, up 4.4% on the same month in 2011, and a new record for the total amount of visitors to the country in a single month, according to Frontur. In the first seven months of 2012, more than 32.8 million people have visited Spain, 3.3% more than January-July of 2011.
Visits from German nationals increased by 9.7% to 1.17 million, while visits from French nationals exceeded those of their German counterparts as 1.27 million visited, an increase of 7.7%, making them the largest contributors during July and the second most popular source of tourist visits to the Islands after the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom consolidated their status as the leading source of tourist visits to the Islands as they recorded a slight increase of 0.5% as 1.76 million British passengers visited the Canaries. A sharp increase in visits was also experienced from a number of countries like the U.S.A. (up 27% -180,000 visitors), Portugal (up 14.7% - 248,000 visitors) and the Nordic countries (up 14.5% - 477,911 visitors).
By contrast, the country that registered the highest decline in visits to the Canary Islands was Ireland as visits from Irish nationals were down 15.6%, followed by the Netherlands (down 5.4%) and Belgium (down 4.9%).
In July Cataluña was the region that recorded the highest increase in visitor numbers, up 9% with an arrival of more than 2 million tourists, 26.3% of the total number that visited Spain. Valencia continued its recent growth as 811,354 tourists visited the region in July, an increase of 7.9%.
Madrid, with 385,021 visitors, recorded an increase of 8.6%, while arrivals to Andalucía fell by 2.1% to 0.93 million.
Over the first seven months of the year the United Kingdom contributed the most tourists with 7.6 million UK visitors (23.4% of the total, a rise of 0.3%). They were followed by Germany (5.3 million tourists, an increase of 6.5%), and France (4.8million tourists, increase of 4.2%).
During the month of July the number of tourists staying in hotels rose 0.8% to 4.7 million after steep increases in the first half of the year. In contrast, non-hotel accommodation recorded an increase of 10.6% as over 3 million tourists opted for apartment complexes and villas. Tourists travelling with tour packages fell for the second time this year, recording a decline of 4.4%.