By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearic Minister for Tourism, Miguel Ferrer, used the opening day of the Fitur international tourism fair in Madrid to assess how the region's tourist industry performed last year.

A total of 11.6 million tourists visited the Balearics last year, 11 percent less than during 2008, but Ferrer said yesterday that the early indications for 2010 points towards a slight improvement, although it is going to be difficult to predict the market because it will be a very late booking year.

Of those 11.6 million visitors, 8.9 were from overseas, 9.5 less than in 2008.
The market decline which really hit the Balearics was the near 17 percent drop in domestic visitors from the mainland and industry experts put that down to the Balearics being more expensive than many mainland destinations and more Spaniards holidaying closer to home last year.

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