A banner in Barcelona in the summer. | Efe

According to the Exceltur* alliance for touristic excellence, there was strong growth in tourism sector profit from July to October. This was due to increases in prices, improvements in hotel stock and full occupancy in some destinations.

The growth was despite outbreaks of so-called tourismphobia, the strikes at Barcelona airport, the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August, the instability in Catalonia, and the recovery in demand for competitor destinations.

The Exceltur survey of profitability and employment shows that the best performance in terms of revenue and employment was in certain Balearic resorts, which outstripped rivals in the Canaries and on the Costa del Sol. Ibiza in particular recorded strong figures, with three municipalities among the top seven for growth in employment and RevPar (revenue per available room). Ibiza Town topped the list with an average revenue per room of 164.20 euros between July and October. There was also a nine per cent increase in employment.

City destinations enjoyed increased demand because of ever more air routes and healthy foreign demand. San Sebastian in the Basque Country was the best performing in terms of RevPar - 138.10 euros.

Tourismphobia has not been because of increased hotel occupancy, suggests Exceltur. In cities which experienced tourismphobia - Barcelona, San Sebastian, Ibiza and Palma - there was a fall in occupancy, and Exceltur doesn't appear to suggest that this fall may have had something to do with incidents. Instead, it is clear where the blame lies for tourismphobia. Citizen reaction against tourism, the report states, is a consequence of an "uncontrolled" increase in holiday rental accommodation. This has been despite regulatory measures introduced by certain town halls, such as Barcelona.

* Exceltur is an association of 23 leading travel and tourism companies. These include Iberostar, Meliá, Riu, airlines and online bookings agencies.