Spain is consolidated as the second tourist destination of the world

05 Apr 2008

Over 58 million visitors arrived in 2006, 4.5% more than the previous year

Spain was consolidated in 2006 as the second place in the world ranking on the number of tourists that the country received, which were 58.5 million visitors. This number indicates an increase of 4.5% compared to the previous year according to information presented by the ORGANIZACIÓN MUNDIAL DE TURISMO – OMT. Furthermore, a total of 842 million tourists have travelled all over the world during the year of 2006, which it also indicates an increase of 4.5% over the number of 808 million travellers from the previous year.

The general secretary of OMT, Francesco Frangialli, stated that Spain has obtained “superior results” over the closest European competitors with “a much more positive tourism development”. Frangialli has also not yet discarded the fact that there is a margin for “a very large number of arrivals” in the upcoming years.

However, he predicted that China will “dangerously” come close to Spain in the forthcoming years and that probably it will take its second place in the ranking, although not before the year of 2010. In the same way, and according to OMT, this great world potency will get to the first place in the world ranking before 2020, which it is now occupied by France.

In that sense, he explained that when making comparisons among countries, it has to be taken into consideration the country of destination and its capacity to receiving tourists, and he affirmed that “China, with more than 1 billion inhabitants, it is not comparable to Spain.”

Among the biggest traveller citizens, Frangialli emphasized the North Americans, Germans, and Japanese travellers, but also emphasized that China and India though being considered “emerging countries” are generating “a flow of a large number of tourists” in the past few years.

He also notes the rise on the number of trips to African destinations (8.9%), followed by the Asian and Pacific regions (7.6%), while Europe maintains itself a little below the world average though rising 4%, the same as the Middle East. North and South America have risen 2%.

Source: El País

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