Foreign tourists visiting Spain between January and September spent 45.1 billion euros ($58.2 billion), some 7.2 percent more than in the same period of 2011, the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry said Monday.

In September alone, international tourists spent 6.24 billion euros ($8.1 billion), about 13.4 percent more than in the same month of 2011, thanks to a 51-percent surge in the number of arrivals and a 7.8-percent rise in the average expenditure per person.

Spain welcomed 3.8 percent more foreign tourists - some 47 million - in the first nine months of this year.

Britain and Germany were the chief sources of foreign visitors, both in September and for the year to date, while the Balearic Islands and Catalonia on the Mediterranean coast were the areas that benefited most from the increased spending.

The Balearic Islands accounted for close to 27 percent of foreign tourists' expenditures in Spain for the month of September.

Vacationing was the reason for the trips in which spending showed the biggest hike, up 16.5 percent, compared with a downturn in outlay on business trips. EFE