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atalonia now mainland Spain's number one tourist destination

Catalonia now mainland Spain's number one tourist destination
24 Dec 2013

Forget the sun-kissed beaches of the Costa del Sol or the pulsating nightlife and world-class art galleries of Madrid, Catalonia is now the number one tourist destination in the whole of mainland Spain, the latest official statistics show.
 
According to figures from the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE), around one in four foreign tourists heading to the country visit the region, with most going to the capital city of Barcelona.
 
Notably, the majority of visitors to this part of the country continue to be from France, the UK, Germany and Russian, with Spaniards themselves preferring to go to the south of the country, and Andalucia and Valencia in particular.
 
Not only are more foreign visitors heading to Catalonia, but they're also staying for longer, too, the figures show, with the typical tourist booking into a hotel for an average of three nights.
 
This means most tourists get the chance, if they so wish, to explore Barcelona, home to some of Spain's most-fascinating historic neighbourhoods, as well as a buzzing beach and vibrant cultural scene, but also explore further afield.
 
Indeed, while the metropolis may well remain the number one draw in the whole of Catalonia, millions of visitors also visit its coastal areas each year, with the Costa Brava to the north of the state and the Costa Daurada to the south especially popular with tourists keen to enjoy fine weather, clean beaches and quaint fishing villages, all without the crowds of the Costa del Sol.
 
As well as Barcelona and Catalonia in general, the past 12 months have also been good to the Spanish capital as millions of international tourists book flights to Madrid in search of fine art, lively bars and top-class sport.
 
Indeed, the city is currently one of many across Europe enjoying a marked increase in Chinese tourist numbers, with organised tour groups especially keen to see attractions such as the Royal Palace, the historic Plaza Mayor and the museums making up the so-called Golden Triangle of culture, among them the Reina Sofia and the Prado.ADNFCR-408-ID-801675995-ADNFCR

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