Foreign tourism to Spain plunged 90% in November

The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain fell 90% year-on-year in November, according to official data, showing the devastating effects new travel restrictions has had for one of the bigger tourism destinations in Europe.

According to figures from the National Statistics Institute, Spain saw some 19 million international tourists over the first eleven months of the year -- around 78% fewer than in the same period of 2019.

It also follows news that the number of Spaniards registered as jobless jumped towards four million in December, closing the year at a more than four-year high.

Joaquin Perez Rey, the secretary of state for employment, is describing the data as bad but also "full of anomalies."

He said it should return during 2021 to, quote, "numbers similar to what we had before the pandemic", provided the global health crisis did not worsen.

Perez Rey estimated that the unemployment rate stood below 16% at the end of last year.

By contrast, during Spain’s financial crisis of 2008 it peaked close to 27%.