Tourist spending increased but so also did the general cost of holidays. | P. Lozano

Spending by foreign tourists in the Balearics rose by 10.5% from January to November last year. The latest statistics from the Egatur spending survey give a total spend of 12,892 million euros.

Other figures show a slight drop of six per cent in the average length of stay (given as seven days), a fall of more than one per cent in spending for the duration of a stay (to 999 euros) and a rise of over 5% (to 136 euros) in average daily expenditure.

In November itself, the amount spent was up by almost 8% to 141 million euros, with an 11% decline in spending for a stay (to 925 euros) and a 32% rise in daily expenditure (137 euros). The length of stay fell by a third.

The situation in the Balearics contrasted markedly with other regions in November. The Canaries accounted for 31% of a national total spend by tourists of 4,195 million euros. The Canaries also had 32% of all overnight stays. Catalonia registered 23% of the spend and Andalusia came in with 13.6%.

Across Spain, UK tourists contributed 18.5% of the total spend, leading the way ahead of German tourists with 12.6% and Scandinavians on 11.5%. The UK spend was up by almost 18%, whereas German spend rose by 3.6%.

Over the eleven months, the Balearics came third in terms of spend (17.6% of the national total). Catalonia was first (22.4%), reflecting the fact that it receives more tourists than any other region, with the Canaries second on 18.7%.

The caveat, as always with these figures, is being aware of what they refer to. A sizable element of the spending relates to the cost of holidays.

Inma Benito, president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, reacted to the release of the Egatur tourist spending statistics by insisting that in order to keep the same level of tourist revenue, there has to be an increased number of tourists. But it is not sustainable for there to be reliance on such an increase.

The figures show, she said, that total spending in November increased in line with there having been more tourist arrivals. Meanwhile, the average spend over the course of a stay fell. This was due, she argued, to the average length of stay having fallen below the national average.