STAFF REPORTER
PALMA/MADRID

THE total amount spent by tourists visiting the Balearics during the first nine months of this year was 7'939 million pounds, a drop of 6.1 percent on the same period in 2008, said a tourist spend watchdog (EGATUR) yesterday.

However, the Islands have fared better than the country as a whole. EGATUR reported that whilst 38'564 million euros was spent by visitors to Spain from January to September this year, the decline was 7.5 percent when compared to the same nine months in 2008. Madrid was the only region of the country which claimed there had been an improvement in foreign tourist spend from January to September this year, 2.8 percent higher than in the same period in 2008.

In spite of the downturn of 6.1 percent in the Balearics, it was the region of Spain which claimed the highest amount of foreign tourist spend in the country, 20.6 percent of the total, during these nine months. It was only in September when there was a noticeable difference from the amount spent in the same month last year - the 1'233 million euros spent last month was 16 percent less than in September 2008.

Each tourist who visited the Balearics in September spent an average of 1'005 euros (4.2 percent less than in 2008) and the average daily spend was calculated at 110 euros. In terms of the first nine months of this year, the total foreign tourist spend was 987 euros per person (3.1 percent more than during this period in 2008), but the daily spend was 105 euros, 2.1 percent less than in 2008. Across the country as a whole, visitors from the United Kingdom who went to make up 23.3 percent of all the foreign tourist spend in Spain during the first nine months of this year, parted with 17.2 percent less cash than they had done during the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, the second key client, Germany, constituting 18.1 percent of the total tourist spend from January to September this year, only reduced their spending by 5.1 percent in comparison with the first nine months of 2008.

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