Palma/Madrid.—The Tourist department of the Ministry for Industry confirmed that the Islands were the second most sought-after holiday destination in Spain, claiming 23.9 percent of all visitors in August, coming close behind Catalonia which boasted 1.9 million tourists, 24.2 percent of the national total.

The majority of those coming to the Balearics last month were from Germany, France, the United Kingdom and other places in Europe. In its report, the department flagged up a marked increase in the number of tourists from France and Germany in August this year, in comparison with the same month in 2010.

Surge in Spain
The country as a whole had 7.64 million visitors last month, a 9.4 percent upturn compared to August 2010 and marks an historic number for the month. So far this year, around 40 million visitors have come to Spain, 8 percent more than during the first eight months of 2010.

The ministry's Tourist department which started measuring visitor numbers and trends as far back as 1995 showed that all areas of the country which are popular with visitors registered increased year-on-year figures for tourism last August, especially Madrid - 42.6 percent higher than the same month in 2010 - due to the capital playing host to World Youth Day that month.

The ministry said that the results for August back up its predictions of a major surge in tourism this year. A spokesman said 2011 might just turn out to be the fourth best month for the industry on record. Interestingly 16.7 percent of tourists in Spain last month were from the United States.