Staff reporter
TOURIST spending in the Balearics fell last year by 12.9 percent when compared to figures for 2001. Majorca registered a fall of 13.2 percent, 18.1 percent in Ibiza and Formentera, and 2.4 percent in Minorca. A report issued by the Centre for Investigation and Technology in the Tourist Industry (CITTIB), which the previous government failed to make public, “demonstrates the negative effect that the tourist tax had last year in high season. The greatest effect, however, was noticed during the winter months when numbers of visitors to the Islands dropped considerably. The fact that this data was not made available reflects the frame of mind of the previous Balearic government and gives credibility to the tourist sector who in due course came to report the trend of falling income”, claimed the Hotel Federation of Majorca earlier this week. Total tourist spending in 2002 reached 6'615 million euros, against a figure of 7'593 million euros in 2001, which is 977.6 million euros less. The difference inevitably had an impact on the balance sheet of the Balearics and on those of companies whose trade is inextricably linked with the tourist industry. On Majorca, spending was 4'636 million euros (5'340 in 2001); on Minorca 831 million (851 in 2001); and on Ibiza and Formentera 1'148 million euros (1'402 in 2001). In the breakdown of data on spending registered in tourist accommodation during 2002, a drop of 36.2%, was highlighted against information held for 2001. Analysing figures according to different islands and client markets, the CITTIB report highlights the particularly notable drop in spending in the Pollensa Bay area on Majorca, some 61 percent down; similarly along the Playa de Palma on Majorca's south coast 28.8 percent (see graphic). In Palma, the fall in spending stood at 11 percent against figures for 2001 but a brighter note sounded across Majorca's interior, where growth in spending reached 76.7 percent as a direct result of rural tourism. Average tourist spending in the Balearics during 2002 stood at 48.61, a fall of 13.9 percent against figures for 2001 (56.48 euros). Accommodation was particularly affected, registering a downward trend of 32.5 percent. Viewed from the perspective of nationality, Germans spent 13.4% less, the British 10.9% less, the French 13.9% less and the Spanish 2.1% less. The only market which showed a rise in spending (2.7%) was that of the Italians. The average spending per tourist capita was 14.5 percent inferior to figures for 2001.
So was the drop in average spending by the British (16.2% less), and the French (19.9% less).
Regarding reports for tourist spending in 2003, government sources indicate they will have to wait to the end of the year to obtain a reliable figure, since initial data provided by the company that the previous coalition government had contracted to research such information, have so far proved “contradictory”.


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