The calling-back of 'fijo discontinuo' employees this month will give an indication of tourism reactivation after the winter. | Gemma Andreu


The final balance for 2022 shows that tourism in the Balearics underwent an almost total recovery compared with pre-pandemic 2019.

In 2019, there were 16,453,636 tourists (foreign and Spanish combined). Last year, there were only 397 fewer; in percentage terms, 99.997% of the 2019 figure. Up to September, it had appeared that the total would end up being some way short of 2019, but the final quarter proved decisive, assisted by the good weather in October and November.

The key to this total was Spanish tourism, which was up by around half a million and compensated for a dip in foreign tourism. In respect of the latter, there were decreases in tourist numbers from the two main markets - Germany and the UK - but there were increases for other markets, France and Italy most notably. It does also need to be borne in mind when considering the figures for 2022 that some Covid restrictions still applied early in the year.

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The strength of tourism in the Balearics can be seen in the national context. Foreign tourism in Spain in 2022 was down 14.3% compared with 2019; in the Balearics the loss was 3.5%.

While the number of visitors was more or less the same, their spending was up by 5% to a total of 17,316 million euros. Average spending per tourist was 1,051 euros, four per cent more; per day it was 160 euros, an increase of five per cent.

Isabel Vidal, the Balearic government's director-general for tourism, is highlighting the greater "diversification" of tourist markets - the growth of the French and Italian markets, for instance - and she is looking forward to an Easter with virtually a "full opening" of hotels. A barometer of reactivation after the winter will be the number of employees with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts who begin to be called back to work this month, both by hotels and the complementary sector of restaurants and others.