News March, 24th 2010 by

Costa del Sol weathers February tourism decline

TouristWhile most of Spain saw tourism numbers plunge in February, Andalucia and Costa del Sol fared well, according to the latest data from FRONTUR, the tourism arm of the Ministry for Industry, Tourism, and Trade.

Bad weather is being blamed for a reduction in the number of tourists visiting Spain in February, with Andalucia and other regions battered by heavy rain and sea-borne storms.

Some 5.3 million tourists came to Spain in January and February, down by 1.5% on the same months last year. But Andalucia actually received 4% more tourists than in February 2009. Tourists are being drawn partly by falling prices resulting from Spain’s economic difficulties.

One reason for the decrease was the large number of cancelled flights and reservations across Andalucia and the rest of Spain, according to the survey. Tourist authorities say they are not surprised by that number, given that February was the wettest month in 30 years.

Despite the smaller numbers, the British remained the largest contingent at 600,000, down 7.9% nationwide in February.  There were 465,000 German visitors and 166,000 Italians.

Apart from the gains that Andalucia was able to garner, other areas of Spain also saw tourism growth despite the national trend. Valencia welcomed 3.3% more tourists, and the Canaries 2.3% more.

The areas that experienced the largest drop in tourists were the Baleares, down 18.6%, and Madrid, down 11.7%.

Not all tourism sectors suffered, either. Hotel stays were up 4.4% across the country, although there was a 7.5% fall in other forms of accommodation. 

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