Palma/Madrid.—Cruising tourism in the Balearic Islands plummeted in July this year by 31.2% in comparison with the same month in 2011, the National Ports Authority reported yesterday.

According to government sources, there were 537'000 visitors coming to the Balearics on cruiseliners last July compared to nearly 800'000 in the same period in 2011. The Ports Authority also said that there was a 22% decline in ships coming to the Balearics in July. Nationally, cruise tourism fell by 17.6% during July this year, 647'581 this year as opposed to the 786'000 cruise passengers who came in July 2011.

The figures reveal a four month decline in cruise tourism at a national level, down 6% in April, 9.8% in May, and 1.7% in June, and 17.6% in July the Ports Authority said.

Barcelona, which has always been a benchmark for the popularity of cruise tourism in Spain suffered a fall of 12.47% in cruise tourism business during the first seven months of the year. The number of boats in Barcelona Port fell by 15.3% in this period.

However, in sharp contrast, the port of Valencia registered an upturn of 31.2% in cruise tourism from January to July. There were just over 175'000 visitors in the first seven months of 2011, but this has increased to 240'000 visitors over the same period this year, boasting 84 more ships in Port than last year.