Palma.—Yesterday, the President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, who is heading the region's delegation to the MITT travel trade fair in Moscow, told a press conference that last year, the number of Russian tourists coming to the Balearics rose by 25 percent making the islands the country's third most popular holiday destination.

Only Turkey and Egypt proved more popular than the Balearics last year and Bauza is confident that the region can increase its share of the Russian holiday market even further this year - yesterday he said that market sources have hinted that the Russian market in the Balearics could grow by as much as between 31 and 35 percent this year. “More and more Russians are thinking about the Balearics,” Bauza said. “For us, it is a very interesting tourist market for two key reasons. Firstly, on average Russians stay for 12 to 14 days as opposed to most other visitors who spend between seven and eight days on holiday and secondly, they tend to be wealthy with great spending power. “So that is why it is absolutely fundamental that the Balearics makes a big push into the Russian market. We want to attract them here and make sure that they come back in the future,” Bauza said.