Palma.—Spain has celebrated one of its best years for UK tourist arrivals during the first nine months of the year, latest figures have revealed.
The destination saw UK arrivals increased 9.2% to more than 11 million during January to September this year, with a 42% rise in April.
Figures were affected by the ash cloud last year but also improved 8.1% during the summer months as holiday makers avoided the trouble-affected Middle East.

The Balearics have welcomed the majority of UK tourists with a 24.3% share of the national market, while the Canaries followed with 23.7%.
The Balearics
On the mainland, Andalusia and Valencia drew the largest group with 18.4% and 15.9% respectively.
The package holiday market increased slightly to 35.5% while a similar number to 2010 opted for hotel accommodation (61.2%). Leisure holidays still drive the country's visitors from the UK at 93% and expenditure increased 2.8% year-on-year.

And, according to the Ministry for Tourism, a further three percent increase in British tourists is expected next year with summer 2012 bookings already eight percent up on this year. The figures were released on the opening day of the World Travel Market in London and the Spanish delegation was given an important boost by heir to the throne Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia who officially opened the Spanish pavilion and toured the various stands, including that of the Balearics.

The Prince's presence at the fair further cements just how important the British tourist market and the WTM are for Spain.
This year, Spain is enjoying a 34.6 percent share of the global British package holiday market. And, during the first nine months of this year, British holiday makers coming to Spain spent 8'548 million euros. 1.5 percent more than last year and 20.2 percent of the overall foreign tourist expenditure.

According to figures from the Ministry for Industry and Tourism, British visitors have spent an average of 9.3 days on holiday in Spain this year and have spent an average of 86 euros per day.

What is more, 85.8 percent of British visitors are repeat holiday makers and 42 percent claim to have come to Spain on at least ten previous occasions while 82.5 percent have given Spain an eight out of ten satisfaction rating this year.

And, there was further good news after a day of marathon talks between the Balearic delegation and the tour operators.
More flights
The main tour firms confirmed that for next year, they are reducing their flights to Turkey in order to increase their connections and capacity to the Balearics, in particular Majorca.

Now the Balearic delegation wants to address the issue of winter tourism and how the industry can finally make it work.


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