The World Tourist Organisation (WTO) defines it as: "A social, cultural and economic phenomenon relating to people travelling outside their usual environment for personal or business reasons". It also highlights the sector's importance to the economy, the environment and the population in places visited, and names Spain as one of the prime destinations for travellers from all over the world, generating high income for the country.
Spain's attraction for tourists lies in the wide range of options on offer to cater for all tastes and sectors. Added to the traditional sun and sand tourism is a rich artistic and cultural heritage, a variety of landscapes, nature reserves, traditional festivals, gastronomy and crafts, just to name a few of the choices available.
Over the last few decades, sports and rural tourism has grown considerably, which has given rise to a new generation of tourism with a rapidly increasing following green, sustainable and creative tourism. The first two mean that travellers undertake to to care for the environment and respect the culture of places they visit. Creative tourism aims to involve visitors in artistic and creative activities that enable them to find out about the local culture through experimenting and learning, which may include basket weaving with organic materials, spinning wool or making preserves. These activities are on offer as differentiating features in a new type of tourism.
The first series of stamps by Spanish Correos dedicated to Tourism went on sale in the mid-1960s. They depicted landscapes and monuments that have helped reveal the wealth of nature and art in Spain.
The current issue shows a compilation of various facets relating to tourism. In one way or another, the passion and beauty of the country are reflected by red-roses, natural products by oranges, crafts by the typical Spanish fan, and art by the carved tympana over church and cathedral doors.