Tourism back to 98% of what it was in 2019. | Miquel À. Cañellas

It was observable each month this summer - Spain's leading region for tourism was the Balearics, the islands having removed Catalonia from a number one position it has traditionally held. But it wasn't just that the Balearics overtook Catalonia. In terms of post-pandemic tourism recovery globally, the Balearics outpaced most other regions in the world.

This is indicated by figures from the UN World Tourism Organization and Spain's own figures. In Europe as a whole, the recovery this year has been just over 80%, comparable with the Caribbean and Central America. But in the Mediterranean, it has been 86%, with Spain anticipating that the year will end with 85% of 2019's tourism.

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In the Balearics, however, the recovery has been almost total - 98%. Up to September, the Balearics attracted 14.3 million visitors; for the same period of 2019, the total was 14.5 million. By the end of 2022, the islands will be close to the 16.5 million tourists in 2019 (foreign and national combined).

This revival translates into spending. For foreign tourism to September, this was 13,395 million euros. In Catalonia, the total was 13,096 million, down by over 4,000 million. Average spending per tourist per stay in the Balearics rose from 1,000 euros in 2019 to 1,063.