The Fitur international tourism fair starts in Madrid today and does so against the backdrop of tourism industry concerns in the Balearics and elsewhere in Spain. These concerns, familiar enough, are to do with Brexit developments, the fall in tourism from the two main foreign markets - UK and Germany - and price pressures.
With non-EU competitors, such as Turkey, able to apply incentives to attract airlines and tourists, the Balearic tourism industry has not experienced the current level of uncertainty since the depths of the financial crisis in 2010. Adding to this uncertainty is the national competition from tourist regions - the Canaries and the Costas. All regions have, to varying degrees, been affected by the correction in the market which has seen tourists returning to competitor destinations in the Mediterranean. Only two regions, though, have the added complication of a tourist tax, and the Balearics tax attracts far more attention than Catalonia's.
In the case of Turkey, the dramatic fall in value of the lira has made the country's resorts especially attractive, in particular to German and UK tourists. German holidaymakers have been returning to Turkey in greater number than their UK counterparts, so for German tour operators Turkey is something of a star attraction this year.
The Balearic tourism industry is pinning its hopes on a continuing rebound in the Spanish market, which grew significantly in 2018.