STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
MORE tourists have visited the Balearics during the first four months of this year than last and the tourist sector here has the British market largely to thank.

Some 1.3 million visitors came to the Balearics during the first four months of this year, up 1.5 percent on the same period last year.
This makes the Balearics the region with the sixth highest number of visitors so far this year.
However, last month there was a drop in the number of visitors to the islands with only 572'000 arriving, a decrease of 2.4 percent on the same month last year.

The good news is that the principal British and German markets are holding up and the decrease was due to fewer visitors from secondary markets such as Italy and Switzerland.

In total, 3.9 million British tourists have visited Spain during the first four months of this year, an increase of 3.7 percent on last year. The British market remains the most important for Spanish tourism.

The German market is also holding up well. Some 2.6 million tourist visited Spain in the first four months of the year and more than 60 percent of them visited either the Canaries or the Balearics. In fact, the Balearics has seen a rise in the German market at the expense of the Canaries.

France, meanwhile, was the third biggest market in the first four months of the year for Spanish tourism. A total of 2.1 million French tourists visited the country during the first four months of the year, 1 percent less than the same period last year.

In total, 15.2 million tourists visited Spain from January to April, 3.3 percent more than last year, according to statistics published by the Spanish Ministry for Tourism.

Again, like the Balearics, this healthy state of affairs is largely due to the increase in the number of British tourists visiting Spain and is good news for the country's hotels.

The hotel sector has registered a 5.8 percent increase in demand.
However accommodation providers outside of the hotel sector have suffered a decrease of 1.5 percent in demand.
The most visited area of Spain during the first four months of the year was Catalonia, which received 3.7 million visitors or 24.6 percent of the total. This was an increase of 1.8 percent on last year. Madrid (12.7 percent) and Valencia (8.7 percent) were the next most popular.