Spain's luxury Parador hotels hit by 2-day strike
Government statistics published in September said a record 7.9 million tourists arrived during the peak vacation month of August, 5 percent up compared with the same month in 2011 and around 200,000 more than in the previous record month, July.
Tourism represents around 11 percent of Spain's gross domestic product and the government is trying to boost trade and create employment after the 2008 collapse of the property market, which triggered a deep financial crisis.
There are 94 Parador hotels in historic buildings in some of Spain's most beautiful locations. Among the most famous is the former Royal Hospital in Santiago de Compostela, a stunning palace with four beautiful cloisters built in 1499 to house pilgrims arriving to visit one of Christianity's most venerated shrines.
Another is situated within the gardens of the Alhambra in Granada, the luxurious palace used until 1492 by southern Spain's former Islamic rulers. When Gen. Charles de Gaulle, France's military leader and late president, decided to write his memoirs, he secluded himself in Jaen's Parador, a former Moorish fortress perched atop a mountain overlooking the olive groves and hills of Andalucia.
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