With Tourism Booming, Spain Seeks ‘Classier’ Visitors

For many a European tourist near the end of the 20th century, Spain was the place for a summer holiday. It had all the essentials: proximity, good food and wine, sandy beaches and culture aplenty, from museums to music, dance to drama. Visitors could fast in Madrid’s legendary Escorial monastery, flock to the Canary Islands or hit the party scene that put Ibiza on the map on the other side of the peninsula. Or they could let down their hair — and, if they so desired, their clothes — on any of the country’s beautiful coastal areas, particularly the Costa del Sol, where the anything-goes resorts were no strangers to the sort of merriment and mayhem that annually forced the weary locals to grin, bear it and count the days to the end of the tourist season.

But tourism, like fate, is a fickle thing, and soon the throbbing dance music all but died. After a high-water mark in the ’90s, Spain was suddenly less go-to and more been-there, done-that. Those seeking the exotic headed to North Africa and the Middle East. The beachgoers turned to Greecefor their fix of sun and good cheer. READ MORE…

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