Spain welcomed in excess of 60.6 million international tourists in 2013, recording a 5.6 per cent year on year increase and the strongest inbound tourism statistics to Spain since the launch of the FRONTUR surveys.
In turn, spend by foreign visitors in Spain also reached record highs, with a total in excess of 59 billion euros in 2013, up 9.6 per cent year on year.
The increased spend was a result of both a higher number of tourists and a larger spend per person, with the average spend per trip increasing to €976 (up 3.7 per cent) and the average daily spend reaching €109 (+3.3 per cent).
UK, French and Nordic visitors were most responsible for the increase in spend, with Catalonia and the Canary Islands benefitting the most from the increased expenditure.
The UK accounted for 20.3 per cent of the total tourism spend, generating in excess of 12 billion euros, up 7.8 per cent year on year.
The UK continues to be the strongest inbound tourism market to Spain, with more than 14.3 million UK visitors in 2013 representing a 23.6 per cent market share and a 5.2 per cent year on year increase.
Germany is the second strongest inbound tourism market to Spain capturing 16.2 per cent (up 5.8 per cent), followed by France, which represented a 15.7 per cent share (6.9 per cent).
The increase in visitor numbers to Spain exceeded the five per cent level of global tourism growth according to the barometer published by the World Tourism Organisation.
This growth was partly fuelled by the Russian tourism market to Spain, which saw a 31.6 per cent year on year increase (capturing 2.6 per cent of all international visitors).
Norway and Sweden also saw huge growth in tourism to Spain with respective year on year increases of 21.4 per cent and 21.9 per cent, collectively capturing a 5.3 per cent market share.
This growth remained strong right up to the end of the year, and in December 2013 Spain welcomed 3.1 million international tourists, representing a 16.3 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
The UK was the strongest inbound tourism market to Spain in December, with almost 623,000 UK tourists choosing to visit, up 20.2 per cent compared to 2012.
For this market, the Canary Islands was the most popular destination capturing a 46 per cent market share, up 9.2 per cent year on year.
Catalonia and Madrid (both the city and the surroundings) also saw significant growth.