Spain welcomed 5.4 million foreign tourists in May, an increase of 5.8 percent over the same month last year and tourism's best performance in the last three years.

According to the survey of foreigners entering Spain, released Friday by the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry, a notable contribution to this increase was made by tourists from Germany, whose numbers soared 17.6 percent last month.

The overall May increase contrasts with the drop of 1.7 percent the month before, which left the volume of foreign tourists at 4.5 million.

Between January and May, international arrivals numbered more than 19.1 million, a 2.4 percent increase over the same period last year. Once again the hike was due mainly to the growing German market which was up 6.1 percent, while the volume of British tourists fell 2.3 percent to 4.3 million.

But British tourists were back in May with a 1.2 percent increase.

The numbers also show the increase of arrivals from the United States - 10 percent in May and 8.3 percent for the first five months of 2012 - and from Latin America, up 27.3 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively.

Tourism contributes around 10 percent of Spain's gross domestic product. EFE