American cruise tourists in Palma. | M. Joy


1,500 a week, they say. 1,500 American tourists; North American, as there will also be Canadians. 900 for only some hours of one day before the Wonder of the Seas heads off to other Mediterranean wonders. 600 will spend longer, arriving courtesy of United Airlines new route from Newark, New Jersey. And the Council of Mallorca, Balearic government and Mallorca's hospitality will trust that they spend more than their fellow tourists from other nations. American tourism is, as tourism authorities like to point out, high spending and a consumer of fine gastronomy and of cultural finery. Quality.

The 1,500 will start arriving in early June. As United has currently only scheduled flights until end-September, this weekly influx by plane and ship will amount to 24,000. If you want some context, 24,000 is fewer (by some 3,000) than the total number of hotel beds in Alcudia.

A resort such as Alcudia contributes to the mass of tourists in Mallorca and the Balearics. In 2018, as an example, there were 16.6 million tourists of all nationalities for the whole year, 11.95 million of whom came to Mallorca. How many were American? For the Balearics, something over 70,000; for Mallorca, around 40,000. Ibiza and Formentera attracted just short of 30,000.

It's a start. Or rather, it's an addition. Closing in on 100,000 would bump up the overall American tourism percentage for the Balearics to 0.6%. But then quantity, as we know, because we are repeatedly being reminded of this, is not what matters. It's the quality. Indeed. But it is still only 0.6% of the mass. For now, as the mass looks destined to be reduced but the American contribution to it to rise.