ROME – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Wednesday that Spain welcomed a total of 82 million tourists in 2017, a new record number of visitors.
Rajoy confirmed the figure during his speech to the summit of leaders of countries of southern Europe being held in Rome.
The latest official figure regarding tourism in Spain was made known on Dec. 28 by the National Statistics Institute, which reported that in the first 11 months of 2017 Spain had welcomed 77.8 million tourists, 2.2 million more than during the entire previous year.
Rajoy emphasized to the other leaders a series of economic figures that he believes to show the recovery of the Spanish economy.
He said that the tourism figures are “very relevant,” given that this is a sector that has made great efforts to become more competitive.
The premier reported that the 82 million tourists who visited Spain constitutes a 9 percent increase over 2016.
In addition, he emphasized that the 2017 earnings from tourism totaled 87 billion euros ($104 billion), 12 percent more than the year before.
“We’ve become the world’s second-largest receiver of tourists and are in second place worldwide in income from tourists,” Rajoy said.