Magalluf, part of which is subject to the tourism of excesses decree. | Miquel À. Cañellas


In 2022, the average spend per British tourist who came to the Balearics was 1,102 euros. The average spend per German tourist was 1,103 euros. Of other markets, the Italian average was 954 euros; the French 1,029; Benelux 1,223; Scandinavian 1,296.

British and German spending was therefore almost identical but both were above the average when all nationalities were taken into account - 1,051 euros. These are the two largest foreign markets, and by some distance: 3.4 million British and 4.3 million German. The profiles of both markets are diverse, while their choice of destination varies - 91% of German tourists came to Mallorca; 62% of British tourists.

According to the British press, the redtops primarily, the tourism industry in the Balearics is offering increasingly expensive holidays to higher-spending markets than the British, e.g. the German market, which on average outspent the British by one euro in 2022.

This is just one fallacy. Given a growth in French and Italian tourism in 2022, the industry has been focusing extra efforts on these markets (and some others). And yet the French and the Italians spend less. Both British and German tourism were down in 2022 by comparison with 2019, but both markets are forecast to recover to pre-pandemic levels this year. This, despite the fact that, as the British press would have it, the British tourist is "under attack" in the Balearics.

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This tourist is being attacked by price and by an apparently hostile attitude, mainly attributed to remarks made to The Sun by the Council of Mallorca's director for tourism promotion, Lucía Escribano, at the WTM fair in London last November, who was referring to drunken tourists and not British tourists in general. The same can be said for any other nationality.

In addition, a Balearic government wish not to grow total numbers of tourists is taken as an attack on the British tourist, when it quite clearly is not. But for British public consumption, bearing in mind that Mallorca "sells" for the British press far better than any other destination, no other nationality is relevant to this particular conversation.

Further to prices, an interview with Juanmi Ferrer, the manager of the Palma Beach association of businesses in Playa de Palma, has apparently been taken to indicate that the cost of holidays this summer could rise by up to 30% this summer because of the impact of inflation.

Ferrer says: "They have misrepresented my words. I never said that." He was referring to an increase in costs in recent years, not to prices in 2023.