Foreign tourism in the Balearics over the first eight months of the year fell by 0.8%. Data from the Frontur survey of tourist movements state that there were 10.2 million foreign tourists up to the end of August, the second highest accumulated number in the country after Catalonia with 13.4 million. The Canaries had nine million tourists, the decrease in numbers having been greater - three per cent - than in the Balearics or in Catalonia (down 2.7%).

Average tourist spending in the Balearics over the eight months rose by 1.5%, with the daily average spending have gone up by nine per cent to 160 euros. The UK accounted for the largest share of the tourism market in August - 29.5% - followed by Germany with 27.4%. Overall foreign tourism in the Balearics in August fell by two per cent to around 2.3 million. In the Canaries it was down 5.8%, in Catalonia by 5%, but was up in both Andalusia and Valencia.

The national figure was 57.3 million, a fall of 0.1%. In August (compared with last year) the reduction was 1.9%. This was the first time since 2009 that there had been a decrease in August tourism; the fall in that year was 4.3%.

UK tourism up to August went down by 2.9%. German tourism slipped by 5.8%. Tourist spending, however, was up by 2.8%. UK tourist spending rose by 4.6% in August, whereas German spending was down by 3.4%.

Commenting on the figures, secretary of state for tourism Bel Oliver said yesterday that the increased spending was "very positive". She highlighted UK tourism, which has registered "less dynamism" this year but which has spent more. She observed that 2017 had been an "exceptional" year and that the focus is now on a tourism of quality rather than quantity. Spending, she added, should be the indicator used to measure the strength of the tourism industry.