Nordic walking is another activity in Majorca that is increasingly popular with European tourists. | Gabriel Alomar


Majorca's hiking routes are proving to be particularly popular with German, Austrian and Swiss tourists. Between October and the beginning of May next year, tour operators for these markets will be bringing hiking tourists who in total will amount to some 300,000.

Certain town halls have been particularly active in seeking to capture the hiking tourism market: for instance, Arta, Capdepera, Pollensa, Santanyi and Soller.

The regional director-general of tourism, Pilar Carbonell, this week attended the TourNatur fair in Düsseldorf. This is described as the "number one" fair for hiking and related outdoor activities, such as Nordic walking.

"The interest in Majorca's hiking routes was noticeable. This type of tourism is of great interest because it is respectful of the environment and contributes to a lessening of the impact of seasonality.

"In addition, walkers are interested in gastronomy and in the customs and history of Majorca. Some tour operators include guides who can explain cultural and natural features along hiking routes."

Carbonell notes that Germany is the leading market for hiking tourism, but it is fashionable elsewhere. Majorca is well-positioned to be able to take advantage of this. As hiking and related activities are suited to the months of the low season, they match the regional government's "strategy" for attracting more tourists in those months.

TourNatur had 40,000 visitors, and Carbonell says that the Balearic stand was one of the most visited. Also represented at the fair were hotel associations and companies which specialise in activity tourism in the Balearics.