September 23, 2013 - 14:46 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Spain reported the best month on record for foreign tourists in August, with 8.3 million holidaymakers from abroad coming to soak up the sun, including many seeking to avoid political unrest in resorts elsewhere such as in Egypt and Turkey.
According to Reuters, the number of foreign tourists on Spain's shores was up 7.1 percent year-on-year, in part thanks to a 9% increase in the number of French visitors to 1.8 million in August.
Tourism is a main pillar of Spain's economy, which is under pressure from a crisis that has left one in four out of work. Unrest in other countries popular with European tourists has driven growth in the sector, even as the region battles a moribund economy.
The tourist industry looks likely to beat last year's record number of visitors, with 42.3 million international tourist arrivals between January and August, up 4.5% year-on-year.
Increasing numbers of Russian visitors also contributed to the boom, with a 30% rise so far this year to 1.1 million, though Britons lead the way with over 10 million already visiting Spain this year.
International tourist arrivals grew by 5% during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, reaching almost 500 million, according to data released by UNWTO. Growth was above the projection made at the beginning of the year (+3% to +4%) and is also exceeding the trend of the UNWTO long-term outlook Tourism Towards 2030 (+3.8% a year).
Destinations around the world welcomed an estimated 494 million overnight visitors in the first six months of 2013, according to the Advance Edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer released on the occasion of the UNWTO 20th General Assembly. This represents an increase of 5% or an additional 25 million international tourists compared to the same period of 2012. Growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations (+6%) than in advanced economies (+4%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now.
Armenia posted a tourist inflow of 321 279 people in January-June 2012, up 14,3% from 2012 results. In the reporting period 343 263 left the country to travel, up 13,6% from 2012 results.
According to data provided by the hotels, the majority of tourists are arriving from CIS, most of the from Russia (23,7%); European tourists are second in the list, with 8,7%; 6,6%; 6,3% arriving from France, Germany and Italy respectively. 11.8%; 6%; 3%; 1,1%; 0,7% of tourists were travelling from the U.S., Iran, Georgia, Canada and Turkey respectively.
Tourists who visited Armenia over the reposting period were spending $115 a day if using the tourist agency's services and twice as less if travelling on their own.