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Foreign tourism to Spain drops 75% in July

MADRID, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain fell 75% in July from a year earlier, data showed on Tuesday, as the coronavirus outbreak shaved tens of billions of euros off the nation’s usual income from the sector.

Spain, usually the world’s second-most visited country after France with some 80 million visitors a year, welcomed just 2.5 million foreigners in the normally brisk holiday month of July, the National Statistics Institute said.

Foreign holidaymakers spent 14.29 billion euros ($17.10 billion) in Spain in the year to July, a gaping 73% below the 52.36 billion euros they had spent by that point last year.

Plunging custom for hotels, bars and other services enjoyed by tourists has contributed to ravaging an economy of which it usually makes up around 12%, as virus cases climbed past 460,000.

The government said on Monday it expects a more than 10% rebound in the third quarter of the year after an 18.5% contraction in the second quarter.

Britons remained the biggest group visiting Spain during the first seven months, despite a 77% year-on-year decrease in their numbers. In July, when London imposed a quarantine on people returning from Spain, France was the biggest market.

$1 = 0.8356 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie, Editing by Inti Landauro and Ed Osmond