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Isabel Rodríguez, School of Economics, University of Navarra, Spain
A ray of sunshine
In the sea of bad economic news, comes like a ray of sunshine the good news about the evolution of tourism in our country. According to a survey of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, more than seven million people chose Spain as a tourist destination last July. The growth in the issue of foreigners who have visited us since January is very B, exceeding 7%. Clearly a joy for our Economics, so afflicted with negative figures and bad data.
Although the data is positive, it is worth a little reflection before launching the bells to the flight. If we look back, the data of the high school of programs of study Tourist confirms that the total expense of tourists in 2010 (last year for which we have complete data ) was lower than that of 2008. To compare with the current year we have to refer to the monthly figures which show that the expense total in June 2011 is comparable to the same data in 2008. That is, we are partly recovering the ground lost during the crisis.
Far from my intention to try to minimize the positive: no one could argue that the issue of tourists or the expense they make in our country is low. The sector accounts for a very important part of GDP and continues to be a major driver of the Economics. Moreover, the injection of tourism in the receiving areas (according to the same survey, the main recipients would have been Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in this period) is important. It is also possible that, to some extent, tourism coincides geographically with areas that are suffering B the effects of the real estate crisis. It is also worth noting that this increase coexists with projections (bad for us) that suggested a fall in tourism to Europe, and especially to the western Mediterranean. It is quite possible that the conflicts in the Arab countries and the media repercussions of popular demonstrations in several countries have lessened the predicted displacement in tourist destinations, favoring Spain. Finally, it should not be forgotten that the increase in tourism may be due to the economic improvement in the issuing countries. In short, a ray of sunshine, but the clouds are not entirely clear.