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l Just days after picking up two awards at the Cruise Shipping Fair in Miami, market forecasts released yesterday indicate that Spanish and Balearic ports are going to see a marked increase in cruise traffic this year.

Last year, the market stagnated in the Balearics, but this year an estimated 20 percent increase in cruise passengers is being forecast by industry insiders. Last year, 4.7 million cruise passengers visited Spain spending over 15 million euros with the ports of Barcelona and those in the Balearics being the most popular. Reports from the UK have also indicated that despite a general slow down in the rate of growth in the cruise market, another increase is expected with the Western Med. being the top destination.