Toni Fuster, president of Pimeco, small retailers association. | R.L.

The Pimeco smaller retailers association calculates that sales to cruise passengers in August have risen by between five and seven per cent compared with last year.

The increase, says Pimeco, coincides with a time of greatest tourist numbers in Majorca, with up to 60,000 cruise passengers in a week.

The association has welcomed the rise in sales, as otherwise there have been decreases of up to 18% in the city.

The Pimeco president, Toni Fuster, says: "There are those who wish to demonise it, but it shouldn't be forgotten that cruise tourism is vital to Palma's businesses. It generates approximately 6,000 jobs and is estimated to contribute gross value added of 256 million euros."

He acknowledges that not all retailers in Palma benefit from cruise tourism.

The increase in sales has been experienced by shops in the centre. Therefore, he adds, "we have to work to recover sales to local clients" in shops away from the centre.