REUTERS
MADRID

SPAIN hopes its battered tourism industry will get a boost from an expected economic recovery in Britain, Germany and France in 2010 and is eyeing China and India to fuel future growth, the Industry Ministry said yesterday.

Spain, the world's third largest tourist destination, is looking to increase its presence in emerging markets after opening tourism office in Mumbai, India and Guangzhou, China in 2009 to offset declining visitors from Europe. “Our 2010 budget will be larger than 2009 and we will raise the amount dedicated to international promotion,” Secretary of State for Tourism, Joan Mesquida, told reporters.

The government spent 67.8 million euros to draw tourists to its museums, mountains and coasts in 2009, but this failed to prevent an 8.7 percent drop in visitors to 52 million.

It expects economic recoveries in Britain, Germany and France - the main countries of origin for tourism in Spain and where economies are forecast to grow between 0.9 and 1.2 percent in 2010 - to boost its tourist arrivals this year.

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