Spain's tourism industry is forecast to post record revenue this year for the second consecutive year, despite high inflation, according to the Exceltur tourism association.

Tourism earnings in the country are set to reach €172.2 billion in 2023 following a "very good start of the year" and the "positive expectations" of the sector. 

This would represent an 8.3% rise over the record €159 billion recorded in 2022 and a 9.4% increase over 2019's figure before the onset of the pandemic. 

"This central scenario is based on the continuation of strong domestic demand and the consolidation of the recovery" in the European countries from which the majority of foreign tourists arrive, the tourism association said in a statement. 

In addition, Spain's tourism sector should benefit from a rise in visitors from North America and Asia this year, according to Exceltur, as pandemic travel curbs have been lifted.

Last year, Spain – the second most popular tourist destination in the world after France – welcomed 71.6 million foreign visitors, predominantly from the UK, France and Germany.

Although this figure was above the 31.1 million who visited the year before, it remained below the all-time high of 83.7 million foreign visitors who came to the country in 2019 before the outbreak of the Covid crisis.

Tourism makes up around 12% of Spain's GDP output, and the decline in tourist arrivals due to the pandemic had a major impact on the eurozone's fourth-largest economy. 

The Exceltur tourism association groups the country's hotels, resorts, transport companies, car rentals and entertainment businesses.

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