Spain received the record figure of 82.8 million foreign tourists in 2018, which is 1.1% more than in 2017 and the sixth consecutive year of record highs, according to data released Friday by the National Institute of Statistics ( INE).
In 2018, the main countries of residence of tourists who visited Spain were the United Kingdom, Germany and France, according to the data, which reveal falls in the arrivals of British and German tourists, of 1.6% and 4.1%, respectively, compared to the rise of the French of 0.7%.
Catalonia was the main autonomous community of main destination in 2018, with 23.1% of the total of tourists, followed by Islas Baleares (with 16.7%) and Canarias (with 16.6%), according to the Statistics of Tourist Movements in Frontiers (Frontur).
Catalonia received more than 19.1 million tourists, the same number as in the previous year, while the number of tourists who visited the Balearic Islands increased by 0.5% and in the Canary Islands it was reduced by 3.3%.
In December alone, 4.4 million foreign travelers visited Spain, 9.7% more than in the same month of 2017.
Also in the last month of the year the United Kingdom was the main country of residence, with 861,693 tourists, which represents 19.7% of the total and an increase of 6.1% compared to December last year.
France and Germany were the following countries: the first contributed 556,702 tourists (0.8% more in annual rate) and the second, 533,454 (10.8% more).
Canarias was the main destination for tourists in December, with 28.8% of the total, followed by Catalonia (22.4%) and Andalusia (12.7%).
A Canary Islands reached about 1.3 million tourists, the same number as in December last year, while in Catalonia they increased by 18.8% and in Andalusia, by 8.5%.