MALAGA was the favourite destination for British tourists this summer.
With Palma de Mallorca in second place, six Spanish cities appear in the top 10 holiday destinations in July, August and September 2011.
This was revealed in a global ranking report prepared by Spanish holiday property rental portal HomeAway.es following a survey of 1,213 users in November 2011.
The Costa del Sol was picked by Britons over prime European destinations including London, Tuscany (Italy) and Nice (France). Ibiza came in sixth, while Costa Blanca towns of Javea, Moraira and Denia shared 10th place.
Nearly half of Brits chose a beach resort, while more than a quarter chose rural and inland towns.
Laura Rivera-Casares, head of sales for HomeAway.es said: “The majority of enquiries by British tourists continue to be for Spanish beach resorts, but it is interesting to note growing interest in rural and inland tourism.”
The total spent by all visitors to Spain this summer was €19.7 billion, an eight per cent increase on the same period of 2010, government tourism statistics office, Egatur, figures show. Other Press reports incorrectly show this amount to be €19.7 million, due to an error in the HomeAway press release.
In the 11 months to November 30, British tourists spent more in Spain than any other nationality, with €9.9 billion, a 1.9 per cent increase on 2010. But figures show that despite more British tourists travelling to Spain in 2011, on average they are spending €708 each, 10.4 per cent less than last year.
They were followed by German tourists with €8.3 billion, a 2.4 per cent increase. Last month tourists spent €347 million in Andalucia, 17 per cent less than the same month of 2010.
Around 80 per cent of tourists visiting Andalucia arrive at Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport, official estimates show. It is expected 13 million passengers will use the airport this year.