STAFF REPORTER PALMA

TOURISTS coming to the Balearics last month spent 1'774 million euros, more than in any other region of Spain, and 5.3 percent more than in August 2009, Central Government reported yesterday.

An inquiry into tourist spending conducted by research group “Egatur” showed, however, that the average spend per head of 1'057 euros was a year-on-year drop of 5.1 percent.

Egatur's report, commissioned by the Ministry for Industry, highlighted the foreign investment in the Balearics during August against the 6'800 million euros spent by foreign visitors in the country as a whole. Nationally, the average spend per head was down by an even greater amount, 6.2 percent.

After the Balearics in first place last month, foreign investment was second highest in Catalonia where tourists spent 1'465 million, with Andalucia (1'111), the Canary Islands (796), Valancia (627), and Madrid (476) following down the list.

Although spending as a whole by tourists in the Balearics last month fell by 5.1 percent in comparison with August 2009, the average daily spend per head was 116 euros, a year-on-year increase of 16.5 percent.

The tourist spend in the Balearics during the first eight months of this year totalled 6'541 million euros, -1.9 percent less than it had been during the same period in 2009. However, the Islands came second only to Catalonia where foreign visitors spent 7'346 million euros during the same period, 10 percent more than they had done during the first 8 months of 2009.

The average spend in the Balearics from January to August this year was 957 euros (-2.4%) whilst the average daily spend during this period was 111 euros, up by 6.7 percent on the first 8 months of 2009. In the country as a whole, 33'900 million euros were spent by foreign tourists from January to August this year, 1.9 percent more than in the same period of 2009. In August this year, visitors from Spain's key client market, the British represented 22.8 percent of the total spend. The figure was a 2.3 percent year-on-year increase whilst the spend by German visitors to Spain last month was 1 percent less than in August 2009.

The French were the second most important key client in Spain last month, contributing 14.1 percent of the total spend, a year-on.year increase of 5.5 percent.

The Italians increased their year-on-year spend by 2.3 percent as did visitors from Nordic countries, by 12.3 percent.
But when analysing the accumulated figures for January to August this year, the Egatur report showed that spending by the British has fallen by 6.6 percent, and that Germany was the second most important key client market despite a year-on-year downturn in spend of 3.7 percent.

During this 8-month period, it was only in Catalonia, Andalucia and Valencia where tourist spend grew in relation to the same period in 2009, by 10, 8.6 and 3.7 percent respectively.