02-01-2015Miquel A. Cañellas

Online travel agency eDreams reckons that some two-thirds of Spanish tourists will be spending the New Year outside the country, with most flights abroad being booked for London, Paris and Rome. The remaining third (save for two per cent, who are going outside Europe) will be heading for Madrid, Barcelona, the Canaries, Ibiza and Palma.

By city, it would seem that Palma is ranking behind Paris, London, Madrid and Rome but ahead of Barcelona, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Ibiza. In terms of flights, Spain, with 35%, heads the listing, followed by the UK and France, then Italy, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Morocco.

Preferences for destination vary according to where the tourists come from. For residents of Barcelona, they are going to Paris, Rome, London, Copenhagen (and Madrid), while their counterparts in the capital are off to Paris, London, Lisbon, Rome and Ibiza. It is the travellers from Valencia and Malaga who give Palma a boost, placing it in lists of preference that are otherwise similar to the others, except for Berlin being of interest to those from Malaga. For travellers from Majorca, they are firmly backing other Spanish destinations this New Year - Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia and Ibiza.

Spain itself is attracting healthy numbers of foreign visitors, especially the French, who represent 20% of the total. They are followed by Italians and Germans, who each make up over 10%, with the British down the table along with the Portuguese, Belgians, Swiss, Austrians, Irish and Moroccans. The main preferences are the three big cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, followed by Malaga, Palma, Alicante, Bilbao, Seville, Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

The report has been welcomed by the local authorities which are working hard, in association with hoteliers, retailers and restaurateurs to promote Palma overseas as a city-break destination. This year a host of new sporting events have been held as part of a drive to establish the capital as a leading sporting and activity destination as well as a cultural and gastronomic centre.

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