Madrid, 29 July 2009 – Madrid is celebrating the fact it was the most visited city by foreign tourists last month. During June, 421,736 visitors passed through the Spanish capital – an increase of 7.6% on the same period last year. This adds to the positive news that Madrid has increased its visitor numbers for the first half of the year by 1.6% compared with last year. 2,336,293 tourists passed through the Spanish capital between January and June 2009.

The figures were published this week by Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, and are remarkable statistics considering European tourism figures are down generally by around 10%. The same period last year posted record figures which makes Madrid’s increase this year even more impressive, particularly during challenging economic times. It also coincides with Madrid’s latest advertising campaign: Madrid – Open for the holidays.

These figures are particularly encouraging as the European summer holiday season gets underway. Spain is popular with families and Madrid provides something for all ages, from outdoor activities and world heritage sites to markets and some of the oldest restaurants in the country. With efficient public transport, quality hotels and 11 hours of sunshine a day, Madrid welcomes visitors from around the world.

The dynamic capital is hosting numerous events over the summer for locals and visitors alike, showing the safe, atmospheric and multicultural style of the city at its international, outdoor best. Already music legend Lenny Kravitz has inaugurated the city’s Magic Box tennis venue as an exciting arena for music, and African sensation Youssou N’Dour performed at the Club de Campo. Both venues are also part of the city’s comprehensive bid for the 2016 Olympics.

“Madrid is where it is at; it is the most visited city in Spain as these figures show,” said Madrid 2016 bid leader Mercedes Coghen. “The huge range of cultural activities on offer in Madrid, which is a safe and secure 24-hour city, are phenomenal and it is understandable why so many people want to be here. We are truly open for the summer in Madrid, and we are certainly open for the Olympic & Paralympic Games in 2016.”

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