Spain welcomed 42.3 million tourists in the first eight months of the year, 4.5 percent more than in the same period of 2012, the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry said.

The uptick was due to an increase in visitors from traditional sources like France and Britain, and in the growing appeal of Spain among vactioners from Russia and the Nordic countries.

In August alone, Spain received a record 8.3 million international tourists, 7.1 percent more than the same month in 2012, according to the ministry.

The French market contributed most to the spike in August with an additional 153,000 visitors, while Russia had the highest percentage increase, 30.8 percent.

Britain, Germany and the Nordic countries also provided significant surges in the eighth month of the year, with hikes of 6.8 percent, 13.5 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.

By regions, Catalonia in August took 27.1 percent of the arriving tourists, followed by the Balearic Islands with 24.9 percent.

Next was Andalusia, followed by the Canary Islands. EFE