THERE has been a major increase in the number of Spanish tourists visiting the Balearics, according to AVIBA (the Balearic Travel Agencies Association). “This is only logical,” according to AVIBA's manager Victor Fernández, “because of the advertising campaign on the Balearics which the tourist industry has launched throughout Spain.” The prime factor behind this campaign was the economic stability of Spain compared to other European countries, particularly Germany and Britain, traditionally the biggest tourist markets for the Balearics. At the same time, Fernández said that the Spanish tourist was “incredibly profitable” for the Balearics.
At one time, the short stay favoured by the Spanish tourist was considered its “main inconvenience,” but now, Fernandez claimed, “this is a problem presented by all the markets.” He pointed out that there has been a change in the type of holiday favoured by most people.
While a few years ago, tourists would stay between 15 and 30 days, they now favour shorter stays of three to four days, Fernández said. However, he added, “visitors come to the islands more often throughout the year, sometimes as much as four times.” This is particularly true of the Spanish tourists, who take advantage of the many long bank holiday weekends there are during the year.
As the chief advantages of the Spanish tourist, Fernández highlighted geographic proximity, no language problems, and the amount of money spent while on holiday. The Spanish market is the third in importance for the Balearics, after the British and Germans, with just over one million visitors a year.
Fernandez pointed out that last July, 212'275 of the 1.2 million tourists in the Balearics were Spanish.
This represents 17.5 per cent of the total and the figure is growing steadily, Fernandez maintained yesterday.


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