Will there really be fewer tourists? Can Picafort is a popular destination for German tourists. | Antoni Pol

Tourism minister Biel Barceló told parliament yesterday that the government views as positive a reduction in the number of summer tourists and an increase in the winter. This is "making the winter better" and lowering the pressure in summer. "In this way we will get work all year, and the employment figures for February confirm this: more contracts that are longer and more stable."

Barceló said that this was in line with a "sustainable" economy and with the creation of quality employment that will lead to "shared prosperity". He stressed the good work being done in winter. He pointed to an anticipated 18.3% increase in German tourism between March and May and to a 30% increase for all nationalities in the first three months of the year. As for summer tourism, he noted that German tourism fell by 12.7% in August last year compared with August 2014.

The minister added that statements by tour operators in Berlin last week were "very unfortunate". They were ones that the government does not share. He added that the government does not intend to get involved in the "price war" between hoteliers and tour operators.

President Armengol said that the change in tourism promotion under the current government is aimed at achieving "sustainable tourism". She pointed to the growth in tourist numbers in the low season and also to the fact that spending on tourism promotion in the Balearics is among the lowest of Spanish regions. The Berlin fair cost a total of 335,000 euros.

The Partido Popular's Juan Manuel Lafuente warned the government that good tourist numbers are the consequence of instability in other destinations. The PP, he said, sees absolutely no evidence of strategy in the government's tourism policy, something which is "worrying".