Spain received a record number of foreign tourists in August, a rare flash of growth for its recession-stricken economy, the government said on Friday.
Foreign tourist arrivals for the month reached 7.9 million, the highest since records began in 1995, figures from the industry ministry showed. This was five percent higher than a year earlier.
A record had already been set in July with 7.7 million foreign visitors that month, 4.4 percent more than a year earlier.
The number of Russian visitors surged by 47.5 percent, with 17.5 percent more French and 4.7 percent more British visitors than last year.
Spain is suffering from its second recession in three years after a housing boom went bust, throwing millions out of work.
Tourism is a crucial sector, accounting for about 10 percent of gross domestic product, and makes Spain the fourth most-visited country in the world.
So far this year Spain has received just over 40 million tourists, 3.6 percent more than the same period last year, the ministry said in a statement.
The British accounted for the biggest share of visitors to Spain -- 24.1 percent -- while French tourists accounted for 21.7 percent and Germans 13 percent, Friday's report said.
The most visited regions were Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Andalucia and the Canary Islands.