By Humphrey Carter
LAST year's drop in tourism revenue should be corrected this year with the latest economic indicators pointing to a 4.1 percent increase in revenue this year. Armed with the very latest data produced by the Bank of Spain, the Secretary General for Tourism, Germán Porras, said yesterday that last year, tourism revenue dropped off by three percent but this year should come to a close with a 4.1 percent increase. Porras said that the Spanish tourist industry is on par with global industry, in 2001, tourism accounted for 12.1 percent of the Spanish economy, last year that figure fell slightly to 11.8. The main reason for last year's drop in global tourism were the September 11 terrorist attacks and recessions which hit some of the industry's main satellite markets, in particular Germany. However, Porras said that while the German slump was potentially very serious, increases in British and domestic Spanish tourism helped compensate for the gap left by the German recession. Only a few isolated regions, such as the Balearics, noticed the lack of German tourists. The second half of this year has seen a recovery in most markets.
The number of Germans coming to the Balearics for example, should be three percent up on last year with the British up over seven percent, and therefore leading to an increase in revenue. The Secretary General added that in the period 1995 to 2002, the number of foreign visitors to Spain grew by 45 percent “not only increasing the economic importance of the tourist industry in Spain, but also transforming the sector into a highly productive industry,” Porras said. In 2002, tourists coming to Spain spent 40.597 million euros during their holidays, while Spaniards overseas spent just 10.750 million euros.

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