TOURISTS account for a large part of the sales of alcohol and tobacco during the high tourist season in the Balearics.
This is especially true in shops in the tourist areas, where almost 100 percent of sales are made to tourists, according to Afedeco (the Shopkeepers Association).
According to figures from the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Tax, expenditure on tobacco on the islands was 229.32 million euros during the first six months of this year, which was an increase of 11.17 percent in comparison with the same period in 2006.
It must be remembered, however, that a great part of this increase in expenditure is due to the increase in taxes applied by the Government.
Sales of actual packets of cigarettes increased during the first six months of this year by just 2.85 percent, to 208.5 million packets, according to the figures from the Tobacco Market Commission.
The high level of sales recorded by the 385 tobacco shops in the Balearics during the high tourist season is explained by the difference in prices among different European Union countries.
This is due to the different taxes applied by the governments of the various European Union member countries.
In fact, a report produced by the statistics office Eurostat, for the year 2006, indicates that the prices of tobacco in Spain are some 36 percent below the EU average (calculated from prices in the 27 member countries), while the price of alcohol is 19 percent cheaper.
This same report highlights that tobacco prices in the United Kingdom are some 205 percent higher than the European Union average, while tobacco prices in Germany are 119 percent higher.
Some 60 percent of the more than 12 million tourists who visit the Balearics every year come from the United Kingdom and Germany.
With regard to alcohol, the President of Afedeco, Bartolome Servera, said that the restrictions on air transport had reduced the amount of sales of Majorcan wines among tourists, especially the Germans.