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>> Spain is world famous for it's sandy beaches and sunny weather, but it's looking to attract a new type of tourist. One that will transform it's capital city of Madrid into a shopping destination. I'm Amanda Calvo reporting for Reuter's from Madrid's upscale shopping street Calle Serrano. The tourism industry is a lifeline for Spain, employing one in eight people and fueling one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.
But experts are concerned by how little, on average, tourists are spending, warning that Spain's tourism model might be unsustainable. Now, public and private actors are making efforts to recast Madrid as a hub that can rival shopping cities like Milan or Paris. One of many efforts underway is the construction of a major luxury shopping mall in downtown Madrid that will host Spain's first Four Seasons hotel and create some 5,000 jobs.
Madrid City government has also made moves to appeal to the cosmopolitan traveler, developing a mobile app that features the capital's best commercial districts. But Spain still still has a long way to go, when it comes to shopping, Italian and French brands like Prada or Chanel are world famous.
But Spanish brands are little known outside of Spain. Retailers are investing more and more in marketing their brands abroad and are hoping perceptions will change over time.