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SPAIN | Spanish Tourism Falls in 2017

Madrid, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Spanish tourism sector suffered losses of 319 million euros in 2017, partly due to the independence process in Catalonia that generated political instability in the country, according to data published today by a sector association.

According to the Exceltur figures, the impact was lower than forecast in October by that association of companies, which estimated that the losses would be around 1.197 billion euros if the activity fell by 20 percent and 1.796 billion euros by 30 percent.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Spanish tourism sector contracted by 0.3 percent, said Exceltur, noting that this indicator maintained for eight consecutive years a growth higher than the whole of the Spanish economy by raising its participation to 11.5 percent, with 134 billion euros for the activity.

The forecasts of Exceltur for 2018 indicate that there will be a new growth of tourist GDP but at a lower rate than in two previous years, and they placed it at around 3.3 percent, with a contraction margin of up to 2.8, if episodes of tension take place in Catalonia.

Tourism activity in Spain as a whole slowed in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 2.9 percent compared to 4.5 in the previous quarter, due to the fall in business travel, the gradual recovery of the main competitors of the sun and beach segment: Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, and instability in Catalonia.

The Iberian nation faced political conflicts last year, such as the independence referendum in Catalonia - an economically strong Spanish region - which brought with it the relocation of the headquarters of more than 3000 companies to other cities, as well as a decrease in trade.

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