Cala Macarella in Menorca, an island where the UK is the largest foreign market. | Gemma Andreu

Various reasons have been offered as to why British and German tourism in Spain as a whole this year has not returned to pre-pandemic numbers - economic conditions in the UK and Germany, higher prices, the heat, competition from other countries.

Up to July, Spain attracted 47.6 million tourists; in 2019, which was a record year, there were 48.1 million. The British contribution was 10.5 million and the German 6.6 million. For 2023, the numbers were 9.8 million and six million respectively. These falls were offset by increases in, for example, the French market (some 300,000 more to 6.4 million) and the US also by around 300,000 (up to 2.3 million).

But while the British and German figures for Spain were below those of 2019, this was not the case in the Balearics. For the first seven months of this year there were were 2,656,345 German tourists and 2,090,807 British. In 2019, there were 2,643,415 and 2,069,688. These weren't big increases, but they were increases nonetheless; unlike for the country as a whole.

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At Palma-based Hotelbeds, one of the world's leading bed banks, the view is that the Balearics have always been a favourite destination for British and German tourists and that the islands continue to be a "first-choice holiday destination" for them. Given the pull that the islands have, the company doesn't envisage there being a situation like there is in the rest of Spain over the coming seasons.

Referring to the German market in particular, Aage Duenhaupt, communications director at TUI, points out that despite the "winds of recession", Balearic hotels are always full in July and August because that is when families with children can fly out for the summer holidays. He notes "a growing trend" for travel to Mallorca in spring and autumn, which "helps to extend the season".

For the first seven months of this year, there were record numbers of foreign tourists in the Balearics - 10.13 million. In 2019 there were 9.52 million. One of the strongest growth markets since 2019 has been France - roughly 100,000 more tourists in 2023 than four years ago. But a total of 522,000 is well short of that of the two main markets, of which Germany is the number one. Recent annual figures indicate that Germany outstrips the UK in the Balearics by around one million and in Mallorca specifically by roughly 1.8 million.