FOREIGN tourist spending last month in the Balearics was nearly a third less than it had been a year ago, the worst slump in the country, a Central Government research group reported yesterday.

Tourist Research organisation “Egatur” reporting to the Ministry of Tourism, said that 391 million euros were spent in April in the Balearics, 29 percent less than the same month in 2009. Egatur said that in line with the downturn in the number of tourists coming to the Islands last month due to interruptions to flights caused by Iceland's volcanic ash cloud, spending was similarly much lower.

In contrast, at a national level, the total spend by foreign tourists coming to Spain last month stood at 3'395 million euros, a decline of 11.3 percent in comparison with April 2009. Egatur claimed the downturn was also related to holiday cancellations caused by the ash cloud.

According to the report, on average each tourist coming to the Balearics spent 842 euros, 10.4 percent less than last year. Daily spend in the Islands averaged out at 99 euros, 7.2 percent less than a year ago.

In terms of income for the region from tourist spending so far this year, foreign tourists in the Balearics have provided 912 million euros, 20.6 percent less than for the same period in 2009. So as well as having suffered the largest downturn in foreign tourist spending last month, the year-to-date figures also puts the Balearics at the bottom of the pile in this category.

In comparison with last year, foreign tourists have spent 2.5 percent less so far this year (810 euros) than they did over the same period in 2009 but the daily spend has been an average of 98 euros, 5.3 percent more than it was last year.

At a national level, foreign tourists have spent 11'615 million euros so far this year, 2.2 percent less than they did during the same period in 2009.
Looking at the individual regions of Spain, Catalonia had the highest income from foreign tourist spending during the month of April this year, in fact figures were better than in the same month in 2009, largely thanks to increased trade from the United States of America.