The Easter holidays saw a 10-percent rise in hotel bookings in Spain, Spanish Minister of Public Works Inigo de la Serna said.

De la Serna said hotels in Spain were on average 90 percent full; a record which has not been seen in the last eight years and which follows on from 2016, which was a record breaking year for Spanish tourism with 75.3 million foreign visitors to the country.

During an interventional at a working breakfast organized by the online newspaper “El Economista”, the minister revealed that Madrid and Seville had been the most popular urban destinations in Spain, with the Canary Islands the most popular destination for foreign visitors.

“Things could not have gone any better,” said De la Serna, adding that in whatever part of Spain, there has been “full hotels and restaurants at bursting point”.

The warm weather experienced over the 4-day Easter break — which is still continuing in some regions of Spain, such as Catalonia, the Basque Region and Valencia — is one factor in explaining the record number of tourists in 2017.

But the Minister added that the growth was also an indication of the continued recovery in the Spanish economy, which is predicted to grow by 2.5 percent during the year.

“The government’s objective is to continue generating employment opportunities,” he said, predicting the creation of 500,000 new jobs in 2017, helping the employment rate fall below 17 percent. (PNA/Xinhua) RMA