By Humphrey Carter

THE Balearic tourist industry cannot complain this Christmas because during the first nine months of this year, foreign visitors coming to the region spent 7.785 million euros.

The figures released yesterday by the Ministry for Tourism, Commerce and Industry in Madrid, show that foreign tourism was more lucrative to the Balearics than any other area of Spain.

In fact, the region accounted for 20.2 percent of the total spent in Spain by overseas visitors between January and September of this year.
Cataluña was where foreign visitors spent the second largest amount of money, 7.669 million euros in total while the Canary Islands enjoyed a cash injection of 7.492 million euros from foreign tourists during the first nine months.

In Andalusia, 6.024 million euros was spent and in Valencia, 3.637 million euros, 15.3 percent of the national total of 39.435 million euros.
It was during the third quarter of the year - the peak summer months- in which the most money was spent in the Balearics.
According to yesterday's report, during the months of July, August and September, 4.668 million euros was spent by foreign holiday makers in the Balearics.

And the figure represents a shade over 25 percent of the national total for the third quarter.
Not only does the report confirm the Balearics's position as one of the favourite holiday destinations in Spain, the figures also demonstrate just how important tourism is to the region.

Over the next few months, it will be the Canary Islands which will enjoy the best business.
With temperatures nudging 25ºC yesterday, the islands continue to be one of Europe's top winter sun destinations and, according to the Association of British Travel Agents, the Canaries is one of the top destinations for Britons spending this Christmas and New Year over seas along with Egypt, Dubai and Goa.