With the tourist industry worried about what 2002 will bring, it can take great comfort in the fact that over the past decade tourism spending in the Balearics has risen by 271.8 per cent. Last year, 2000, tourism spending hit the one billion peseta jackpot and despite an unsettled 12 months this year, spending rose a further 1.3 per cent; better than nothing. Fuelled by the British and German travel markets, the amount of money spent by holidaymakers in the Balearics has risen from 370.036 million pesetas in 1991 to the new billion peseta benchmark. According to data produced by the Balearic Ministry for Finance, the boom years were 1996 and 1999 and over the past decade Minorca has been the biggest winner. Tourism spending in Minorca, where the holiday market has traditionally been dominated by the British, has increased by 339.2 per cent. Ibiza has enjoyed a rise of 323.6 per cent while spending in Majorca has risen by 253.3 per cent since 1991. The islands' three airports have also seen passenger numbers rise sharply. In 1991 the airports of Mahon, Ibiza and Palma handled a total of 1.272.091 passengers, last year the total figure was 26.659.198. In 1991 Palma's Son San Joan airport handled 11.7 million passengers, last year 19.4 people flew in and out of the airport; which over the past decade has been completely rebuilt. This year has seen spending and airport figures change little. The bottom fell out of the German market prior to September 11 and since the terrorist attacks on the United States the travel market has struggled. Tourism spending, according to CAEB; for this year will however show a 1.3 per cent increase, airport passenger figures will nevertheless be slightly down on last year. The government reports also indicate that customer satisfaction has also risen steadily. In 1990, 30.8 per cent of tourists said they were satisfied with their holiday in the Balearics, last year the figure had risen to 36.5 per cent. Tourists have also become more concerned about their resorts. In 1991, just 9.5 per cent expressed any concern for the local environment, last year 21.9 per cent wanted to know about the environment, expressing concerns about the high level of construction. Last year a third of holidaymakers were impressed with the quality of service in the Balearics, ten per cent more than in 1991. However, that is an area the Balearics still have to work on.


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