Boutique hotels in Palma are expected to benefit from American tourism. | Archive

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Iago Negueruela, the Balearic tourism minister, recently said that the "quality" of tourists cannot be defined in terms of how much they spend. Even so, the minister's mantra and that also of the island's tourism sector is one of quality versus quantity. This ratio is undoubtedly one to be qualified by a euro sign and it can lead to somewhat questionable statements, such as those related to April's tourism. Tourist spending by the traditional source markets, like the British, was well up compared with pre-pandemic April 2019. Yes, but inflation had pushed prices up.

The American market now being opened up thanks to United Airlines is viewed as having high added value because of its high purchasing power. A minimum estimate of spend per day per tourist is put at 1,200 euros. To put this in context, the April report for tourist spending referred to a 22% increase compared with 2019 to an average of around 1,000 euros - not per day but per stay.

After the inaugural flight landed in Palma on Friday, United's senior vice president for international networks and alliances, Patrick Quayle, observed that the American market "is very important for a tourist destination like Mallorca because it captures a quality market". For the island, it is said, this means spending on the likes of Michelin-starred restaurants and staying in hotels with an American brand, such as Marriott's Club Son Antem, as well as in Palma's boutique hotels. A room in a boutique hotel costs between 300 and 600 euros a night.

Mallorca's tourism sector looks forward to this market being consolidated and expanded. The signs are that this will happen, United having highlighted the possibilities that arise through its Newark hub - some 90 connections in North America. And while the Council of Mallorca and United have their promotions, so also does the Spanish government's Turespaña, whose marketing reach is "from east coast to west".