Palma.—The 10.4 million foreign tourists who came to the Balearics last year, spent a total of 10'902 million euros, 5.9 percent more than during 2011 and the current market data for 2013 points towards another rise in visitors and spending.

The figures were released yesterday by the Ministry for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in Madrid and the average spend per tourist last year was 967 euros, 2.5 percent more than during 2011.

However, the figures could have been higher had it not been for a very slow December.
Last month, foreign tourists spent 64 million euros in the Balearics, nearly 14 percent less than during December 2011. The average spend per tourist during their holiday in December was 895 euros, 22 percent down on 2011 and the daily expenditure was 85 euros, 11.2 percent down on the previous year.

That said, sources for the tourist industry said that December, and this Winter as a whole, is obviously going to post poor results because a record number of hotels and resort businesses are closed.

At a national level, foreign tourists spent a total of 55'594 million euros last year, an all time high since records began in 2004 beating the previous record total by 5.7 percent.

UK leads the market
However, what is interesting is that foreign holiday makers were spending less time in the country.
The average length of a holiday last year was 8.9 nights, three percent fewer than during the previous year.
The Ministry's report also clearly states that the driving force behind Spain's tourist industry continues to be the UK market.
British holiday makers spent 11'135 million euros in Spain last year, 7.4 percent more than in 2011.
The Germans spent 9'083, five percent more than the previous year, followed by the French who spent 5'190 million euros, 1.1 percent more.
The Scandinavians spent 5'054 million euros, 9.7 percent more and the Italians, 2'733 million euros, 7.1 percent less than in 2011 while tourists from the rest of the world spent 22'399 million euros, 1.1 percent down.

The region which benefited the most from foreign tourism was Catalonia where holiday makers spent 12'608 million euros last year, nearly 14 percent more than in 2011.

The Canaries came in second with revenue from tourism spending at 10'618 million euros, 4.4 percent more followed by the Balearics in third place thanks to a near six percent rise in expenditure by foreign tourists.

And yesterday, travel agents associations in the United Kingdom and Germany confirmed that package holidays sales to the Balearics are well up on last year and that 2013 should be another good year.

The main tour operators in the UK are currently talking about a year-on-year increase in sales of as much as 15 percent while in Germany the market has picked up by around 10 percent.

Long season
There are a few special offers available with the tour operators and the hoteliers cooperating extremely well, but on the whole, people are paying brochure price for their Balearic holidays this year and the season is starting at the beginning of May with bookings going all the way through until the end of September and early October.

Now, with Fitur, the Spanish tourism fair about to open tomorrow, the Balearic industry will be keen to see how the domestic market is shaping up this year after a really poor 2012.

SEE PAGE 8

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