Spain's 85.1 million foreign visitors last year set a tourism record

MADRID (AP) — Spain received a record 85.1 million international tourists last year, 19% more than the year before, the National Statistics Institute reported Friday.

The number of foreign visitors in 2023 surpassed the 83.5 million who went to Spain in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic ruled out most leisure travel.

The U.K., France and Germany sent the highest number of tourists to Spain last year.

The National Statistics Institute said Spain's income from foreign tourists reached 108.7 billion euros ($117 billion) in 2023, an increase of 25% from the previous year. Tourism accounts for 12% of the country's gross domestic product.

The northeastern region of Catalonia, including Barcelona, followed by the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off North Africa were the top destinations.

France, Spain and the United States have been the world's three top tourist destinations for many years.