UPDATE 1-Number of foreign tourists visiting Spain slowly recovers as restrictions ease

(Adds details and countries of origin)

MADRID, June 1 (Reuters) – The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain rose to 630,657 in April from a virtual zero in the same month a year ago as European countries started to ease travel restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic, statistics department INE said on Tuesday.

The number of foreign tourists in April in Spain, the world’s second most visited country before the pandemic, was still 91% lower than in April 2019, INE reported.

With stricter travel restrictions in place in Britain, where travellers must isolate for several days when returning from abroad, German tourists were the most numerous visitors, representing 23% of the tourists in April. Germany, which has Europe’s largest economy, removed several Spanish regions from its virus risk list in March.

The second point of origin of tourists was France as many people there went to Spain to take a break from early curfews and activity restrictions back home.

Foreign tourists spent a total 671 million euros ($821 million) in April, 90% less than in the same month in 2019, and a total of 1.9 billion euros in the first four months of 2021, 83% less than last year, INE said.

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