Foreign tourists spent a record 52.8 billion euros in Spain over the course of 2011, an increase of 7.9% over the previous year and the highest amount since records began.
Up until now, the best years in terms of foreign tourist spend were 2008, with 51.9 billion euros, and 2007, with almost 50 billion euros, according to data collected by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
56.7 million tourists came to Spain last year. Their average overall spend stayed more or less constant, but their daily spend increased by 4.6%.
In December, for example, the total spend by tourists was 2.8 billion euros, up by 5.2 %, with an average per person spend of 1,033 euros, and an average daily spend of 104 euros.
The year on year figures show the "important" contribution of British tourists, who account for 19.7% of the total and whose spend was up by 2.1% on last year.
Catalunya was the Autonomous Community that attracted the greates tourist spend in 2011, with 11.27 billion euros, which equates to 21,4% of the total spent by foreigners in Spain and a year on year increas of 7.4%.
Catalunya was followed by the Canary Islands, which took 10.12 billion euros (19.2% of the total) and a year on year increase of 13.1%, then the Balearic Islands, which banked 9.46 billion euros (17.9% of the total tourist spend) up by l 7.9%.
32% of forign tourists came into the country on package tours and spent 16.873 billion euros, 13.5% more than last year; whereas the other 68% who organised their own travel and accommodation spent 35.92 billion euros, 5.5% more.
63.5% of travellers opted for hotel stays, an increase of 8.7% on last year, whereas the remaining 36.5% chose other types of accommodation, which also saw bookings up by 6.6%.