Balearic tourism minister Celestí Alomar said yesterday that tourism up to the 31st of July had risen by 0.2 per cent over the same period last year, and he confirmed that the British are once again the largest group visiting the Balearics. In announcing the figures, he called on the Secretary of State for Tourism, Juan Costa, to rectify his recent description of the situation in the Balearics as being cause for concern. Alomar presented the figures after signing an agreement with the Baleric University and accused Costa of being hasty in his evaluation of the season. Costa had shown concern at an alleged drop of 3.7 per cent in tourism to the Balearics, saying that “it should make us all reflect” and offering his collaboration to ease the problem. But Alomar said he hoped the figures would lead him to rectify and admit that the Balearics lead the field in tourism in Spain and are one of the leaders in Europe. The figures show that the number of German visitors to the Balearics rose by 9.1 per cent to more than 573'000 while the number of Brits rose by 5.2 per cent to 603'200.