MADRID, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The amount of money spent by foreign tourists in Spain rose by 6.6 percent in the first half of the year when compared with the same period of 2012, according to data released on Friday by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
Spending rose to 24.416 billion euros (32.41 billion U.S. dollars) from January to June of 2013, with an average daily spending of 110 euros (a 2.4 percent up on the same period of 2012) and an average spending per tourist of 936 euros which meant a 2.2 percent rise on 2012 period.
The ministry said visitors from Britain spent more than others representing 19.4 percent of the total and spending a total of 4.731 billion euros in Spain in the first six months of the year, a 5.6 percent increase over the same period of 2012.
The British were followed by German and Nordic visitors, who spent 4.015 billion euros and 2.613 billion euros respectively, experiencing an increase of 2.8 percent and 15.4 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, holidaymakers from Spain's neighbor France spent 2.274 billion euros, an 18.5 percent increase.
Foreign visitors chose Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, as main destination, spending there 5.730 billion euros which meant a 10.3 percent increase when compared to the same period of 2012.
Their second choice was the Canary Islands, where foreign visitors spent 5.329 billion euros, a 7.5 percent more than in the same period of 2012.
The tourist sector is very important for Spain, which is the second most important tourists destination in terms of receipts and the fourth most important in the world in terms of visitor numbers according to data of 2012 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).