Spain received a total of 10.1 million international tourists in the first quarter of the year, according to data published on Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. The ministry said the figures meant a 7.2 percent increase compared with the same period in 2013, thanks to arrivals from Britain, Germany, Nordic countries, Italy, Switerzland, Belgium and Russia. The number of tourists arriving from Britain increased by 4.7 percent between January and March to a total of 1.93 million people. They represented 19.2 percent of the total. The British were followed by the Germans whose arrivals increased by 6.2 percent in the first quarter to 1.63 million visitors, accounting for 16.2 percent of the total. The number of French visitors increased by 11.5 percent to 1.65 million people, while tourists from the Nordic countries increased by 7.8 percent to 1.21 million arrivals. The Canary Islands registered the largest amount of international tourists between January and March with 3.12 million arrivals that accounted for 31 percent of the total. The archipelago was followed by Catalonia, which received 2.54 million international tourists in the first quarter of 2014, and Andalusia, which received 1.16 million tourists. The ministry pointed out that in March alone, the number of international arrivals stood at 3.9 million, meaning a 0.7 percent increase on a year-on-year basis. Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism Jose Manuel Soria said on Tuesday that the tourism sector was very important for Spain's economic recovery. He added Spain was the third most popular tourist destination in the world in 2013.