Tourists on Benalmadena beach

BRITISH holidaymakers have helped Spain smash its record for international tourist arrivals.

It comes after the National Statistics Institute (INE) revealed the number of visitors in July soared by 10.1% on last year.

Spain hosted more than 10.5 million foreign tourists in the seventh month of the year, adding to expectations that 2017 arrival numbers will reach new heights.

From January to July, the number of visitors rose 11.3% on last year to 46.9 million.

Research carried out by Caixabank predicts a total of 83 million international tourists by the end of 2017.

Barcelona in Catalonia is a big favourite among Brits

Catalonia was the most visited region in July.

Hotel groups and government ministers have so far dismissed concerns that the attacks in Barcelona could affect figures, saying cancellations since have been isolated.

According to a survey by ITB World Travel, two thirds of international travellers only go to destinations they perceive as safe.

Tourism has accounted for around 11% of economic output during Spain’s economic recovery since the devastating 2008 crash.

It’s an essential industry for the country, employing 13% of the population.

British tourists remained the largest group of visitors, accounting for 22.1% of the total, despite Brexit and the plummetting pound against the euro.

“There is no noticeable impact of Brexit on our future bookings, which remain positive,” a spokesman for Thomas Cook said. “The annual sun and beach holiday is resilient.”

More than 2.3 million Brits travelled to Spain in July, up 7% from 2016.

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