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First European summit on shopping tourism kicks off in Spain

File photo of The European Union flag waves next to the Spanish flag after it was raised in Madrid's central Columbus Square February 17, 2005. REUTERS/Susana Vera PH/WS

Madrid: The Shopping Tourism and Economy Summit, the first European summit dedicated to the shopping tourism phenomenon, kicked off here late Monday.

The Summit aims at analyzing the economic impact and the possibilities of the shopping tourism in urban development and Madrid, the capital of Spain, is one of the main cities where this phenomenon takes place.

The Spanish capital is the fifth European city where non-European tourists spent the most after London, Paris, Barcelona and Istanbul, Xinhua news agency reported.

At the summit, speakers will address topics such as how to promote shopping tourism in cities and how to boost collaboration between the public and private sector.

Among the speakers are the president of the Spanish airline Iberia, Luis Gallego, and the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai.

Spain is the third most visited country in the world after the US and France and is the second country where tourists spend more money.