Spain welcomed some 6 million foreign tourists in June, 4.7 percent more than during the same month last year and a situation arising from an increase in visitors from Britain and Germany.

The figures are based on the survey of tourist movements across borders released Monday by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

In the first half of 2012, international tourist arrivals numbered 25.1 million, 2.9 percent more than during the same period in 2011, thanks mainly to the growth of the German market by 5.7 percent, or 4.16 million.

The Balearic Islands were the top destination for international tourists in June with an increase of 5 percent to 1.58 million mainly occasioned by tourist flows from Britain and the Nordic countries.

Catalonia thus lost its ranking as Spain's No. 1 tourist destination, falling to second place even though it experienced a marked increase in arrivals of 10.8 percent.

The southern region of Andalusia registered a falloff of 4.6 percent; the Canary Islands an increase of 4.8 percent and the eastern region of Valencia a rise of 3.9 percent during June.

The greatest percentage growth for tourist arrivals in June occurred in Madrid, which welcomed 17.4 percent more foreign visitors, with travelers from Italy and the United States accounting for most of the increase. EFE