Palma.—The Ministry for Tourism and Energy reported yesterday that 10.4 million tourists came to the Balearics, more than during 2011, with the region being the second most visited by foreign tourists in Spain.

The Balearics accounted for 18.1 percent of the total market behind Catalonia which attracted 14.44 million holiday makers but ahead of the Canary Islands which were visited by 10.4 million people and Andalusia which attracted 7.5 million visitors.

Nationwide, Spain welcomed 57.7 million foreign tourists in 2012, up 2.7 per cent from the previous year.
Tourist arrivals, however, fell 1.3 per cent last month, compared with December 2011, to 2.6 million, the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry said.
The United Kingdom, France, Germany and Russia were the top sources of tourists last year, while the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia registered the biggest increase in tourist arrivals. Spain was unable to break the pre-recession tourist-arrival records set in 2007, when 58.7 million visitors came to the Iberian nation, and 2006, when 58 million people visited the country, despite the strong performance last year.

Tourism is one of the engines of Spain's economy, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the gross domestic product and this year, while the German market is looking a little flat, if not uncertain, the British market has got off to its strongest start in the past seven years with the dreadful weather driving tens of thousands of Britons to their nearest travel agent or website in desperation to book some guaranteed sun.


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