Staff Reporter

PALMA
THIS tourist season is exceeding all expectations for the Balearics, and according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the islands were the preferred destination for foreign tourists in July.

Majorca was the area with the highest level of hotel occupation and Calvia, which includes the popular resorts of Magalluf, Palmanova, Santa Ponsa, Illetas and Paguera, was the place which had the highest level of occupation in the country.

In addition to this, Palma was the place which had the highest number of overnight stays in July.
The tourist figures for hotels say that, in July, the Balearics was the main destination chosen by Spanish tourists.
The overnight stays made by foreigners, which represent 40.4 percent of the national total, increased by 1.1 percent in comparison with July 2006.
The islands were also the region with the highest ratio of occupation to number of places, with 89.4 percent. This was ahead of the Canaries (75.9 percent) and Valencia (71.5 percent).

According to the figures from the INE, the tourist areas with the highest level of occupation and overnight stays were on the islands and round the coast.

Majorca had the highest ratio of occupation to number of places, both generally (with 90.9 percent) and at weekends (with 89.7 percent).
Majorca was also the area which had the highest number of overnight stays, with more than seven million beds occupied.
The tourist places with the highest number of overnight stays in the country in July were Calvia, Benidorm and Palma.
For its part, Calvia had the highest ratio of occupation to number of places (with 99 percent occupied), and Alcudia had the highest level of occupation during weekends (95.2 percent).

The predictions made by the INE for August and September also make Majorca the area with the highest level of occupation in the country, with 81 percent. With regard to the levels of profit and company operation, the INE said that the interannual increase in the hotel price index was 3.3 percent nationally in July.

The regions with the greatest weight in this index were the Balearics, Catalonia, Andalucia and the Canaries. The islands showed an interannual increase of 3.9 percent, 0.4 percentage points higher than that recorded in June.

The index for hotel income had an increase of 3.9 percent at national level, but in the Balearics income per room occupied rose by 5.7 percent, the highest in the country.

In Catalonia this income rose by five percent, in Andalucia by 2.5 percent and in the Canaries by 0.6 percent.
This very positive tourism situation is reflecting the excellent development of the tourist season in the Balearic hotel sector, which will have to wait until the end of the season to see how well their profit margins have increased.

With regard to the tourist markets, the Germans still lead the field but the Spanish have ousted the Britons as the second tourist market for Majorca, Ibiza and Minorca, which confirms the hoteliers' decision to promote themselves to the national market.

The forecast for this month is also very positive, and also for September which will again be the most profitable month for the hotel sector, and for the whole of the Balearic tourist industry.

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