MADRID (AP) -- A record number of foreign tourists have visited Spain this July, welcome news for a country mired in recession and suffering massive unemployment.
Frontur, the tourism department's statistics agency, said Thursday that 7.9 million people visited in July, up 2.9 percent from July 2012. Britain led the influx with 1.8 million visitors, followed by France and Germany with 1.2 million each.
Frontur said 34 million foreigners arrived in Spain in the January-July period, an increase of 3.9 percent on last year. Russians represented the biggest increase, with 838, 876 arrivals in the period, up 31 percent on the year.
Tourism is Spain's second most important industry after car manufacturing.
The country has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a 26.3 percent unemployment rate.