Cultural tourism continues to rise in Spain

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CULTURAL: Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum was one of the most popular attractions

THE number of tourists paying a visit to Spain’s cultural sites and attractions has risen by 23 per cent this summer compared to last year, according to a study.

The total number of holidaymakers who arrived in Spain was about 8.5 million during June, according to the latest statistics from tourism officials.

Data showed that those holidaying in Spain still tended to opt for beach holidays in areas such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.

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The figures also showed the share of tourists taking in the country’s culture offering was rising as a share of the total, according to the Weekenddesk website’s study.

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in the Basque County was one of the most popular. The gallery displays modern and contemporary art and is also famous for its avant-garde architecture.

Visits to aquariums, zoos and areas such as national parks have risen by 20 per cent so far their summer in comparison to the same time last year. The Cabarceno Nature Park in Cantabria was the most popular of its type of attraction.

Data analysts said statistics from Cantabria and elsewhere in the north of Spain showed growth in off-beach holidays in those areas.

Figures also showed beach tourism continued to grow during June in comparison to last year. The number of travellers expected to travel to the Costa del Sol between June and September numbers more than seven million, a 1.5 per cent increase on summer 2017.

Elias Bendodo, the head of the Costa del Sol tourist board, said the authority estimated tourists would about an extra €7.4 billion to the region’s economy. The southern destination is currently the most popular with tourists out of those in Spain.

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