The mirador in Deya, where there were complaints about tourist saturation last year, | Pilar Pellicer

Based on 2022 figures from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Balearics would have stood at nineteenth in the world in terms of tourist numbers.

The UNWTO lists the countries which attracted the most tourists last year. Eighteen had more tourists than the Balearics. As well as Spain itself, these were France, the US, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Germany, the UK, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Hungary, the UAE and Denmark. At one point in 2022, the hypothetical ranking for the Balearics was higher than nineteenth; the significant drop in visitor numbers in November and December pushed the islands down to nineteenth.

There were some notable absentees from this top twenty. For different reasons, the likes of China and Russia were missing. Even so, the fact that the Balearics could theoretically be in the top twenty is an indication - if any were needed - of just important tourism is to the islands.

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There were just under 16.5 million tourists (foreign and national combined) last year, a tally that was only slightly less than in 2019. Forecasts suggest that this total is likely to be exceeded in 2023. The largest single market, Germany, provided 4.3 million visitors in 2022. Flight reservations from Germany to Balearic airports (overwhelmingly to Palma) are reported to be up 17% compared with last year.