The political turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia has European tour operators scrambling to divert package tours to more stable destinations, and several thousand tourists have already been re-routed to beaches in Spain, a Spanish tourism industry official told CNN.

We can't be happy about unfortunate circumstances elsewhere, said Rafael Gallego Nadal, president of the Spanish Federation of Travel Agency Associations. But the increase (in tourists) has arrived at an important moment as Spain recovers from a deep economic slump.

In addition to the few thousand extra British, German and Scandinavian holidaymakers who've already arrived in Spain's Canary Islands, predictions are there could be tens of thousands of additional vacationers by May, Gallego said.

For now, the seven-island Canaries archipelago, located in the Atlantic Ocean just west of Morocco, is the only part of Spain that can compete directly with Egypt and Tunisia for the beach vacation business in winter.

Source: CNN