The amount of money spent by foreign tourists in Spain from January to April 2013 increased by 7.5 percent in comparison with the same period in 2012, according to figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism on Monday.
Spending rose to 13.337 billion euros (17.247 billion U.S. dollars) making it the best start to a year for the Spanish tourist industry since 2009.
The Ministry highlighted the importance of visitors from France, the Nordic countries and Britain figures, which showed proportionally more money was spent on Spain's Mediterranean coast.
Visitors from the United Kingdom spent 2.228 billion euros from January to April 2013 in the country: a 3.9 percent increase in comparison with the same period of 2012.
Holidaymakers from Spain's neighbor France spent 27.6 percent more, getting through 1.412 billion euros in the first four months of the year, while citizens from the Nordic countries spent 1.758 billion euros, a 17.5 increase in comparison with the same period of 2012.
Meanwhile, in annual terms the amount spent by foreigners in Spain rose by 5.5 percent in April to 4.031 billion euros with an average expenditure per person reaching 871 euros in total, or 111 euros per day.
The figures published on Monday are good news for Spain given the importance of the tourist sector to the country, which is the second most important tourist destination in terms of receipts and the fourth most important the world in terms of visitor numbers, according to recent data for world tourism in 2012 released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
In 2008 and 2009 the contribution of tourism to Spanish GDP decreased, while in 2009 and 2010 rose representing around 11 percent of the country's output. (1 euro = 1.29 U.S. dollars