c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

TARIFA, Spain — Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece are hoping that this year’s record influx of sun-seeking tourists and their money from Northern Europe will continue past summer’s end.

Call it an alternative financial bailout.

As Europe’s peak holiday season draws to a close, Spain and the other countries of Southern Europe hit hardest by the euro debt crisis are reaping the benefits of increased tourism.

Anita Bürgler, a 43-year-old Swiss kite-surfing fanatic, chose this resort town on the Strait of Gibraltar to spend her first-ever Spanish holiday. She heard it has some of the strongest winds in Europe.

She said she was almost certain to cancel her annual kite-surfing winter holiday to Egypt’s Red Sea, booked for November, because of security concerns. Instead, she will consider another visit to Tarifa, whose waters will be colder but far less crowded than in August.

Indeed, political turmoil elsewhere around the Mediterranean has benefited Europe’s southern coast. Last week, an association of entrepreneurs in the Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago off West Africa, forecast that before the end of the year, their region would welcome an additional quarter-million people who had initially planned to escape Europe’s winter cold by vacationing in Egypt but now planned to go elsewhere in response to the military takeover and rioting.

Spain has perhaps been the main tourism beneficiary of the repercussions of events in the Arab world and Turkey, according to travel experts and early estimates. Tourists visiting Spain spent 32 billion euros, about $42 billion, in the first seven months of the year, up 6 percent from 2012 (including spending on transportation), according to data released last Tuesday by Spain’s tourism ministry.

In the first seven months of 2013, Spain welcomed a record 34 million foreigners, a rise of 4 percent from a year earlier.

British visitors accounted for almost a quarter of the total. But the strongest percentage rises came from tourists from Russia, up more than 30 percent, to 840,000, and the Nordic countries, increasing 18 percent to 2.9 million.

The number of visitors to Greece is expected to top 17 million this year, up from 15.5 million in 2012. The Bank of Greece says revenue from tourism rose 18 percent in the first half of the year, to $4.4 billion.

In Portugal, meanwhile, tourism revenues rose 8.2 percent in the first half of the year, also as a result of more visitors from Northern Europe and Russia.