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Soaking up some Spanish sun

A reveller is covered in tomato pulp during the annual "Tomatina" (tomato fight) in the Mediterranean village of Bunol, near Valencia, August 30, 2006. The origin of the tomato fight is disputed - everyone in Bunol seems to have a favourite story - but most agree it started around 1940, in the early years of the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo)

Soaking up some Spanish sun

Sunseekers spurning unrest in Egypt and Turkey flocked to Spain in record numbers last month, setting the country up for its best-ever year for visitors and giving a boost to the ailing economy. "It is very likely that 2013 will be the best year historically for tourism," Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria told a news conference on Monday, adding that estimates for the fourth quarter were positive.

Tourism contributed over 5 percent of Spain's economy or GDP in 2012 and provided around 900,000 jobs, according to Euromonitor, in a country where one in four is out of work, meaning a boost to tourist figures should be good news as other sectors flag. (Reuters)