France has this summer become the fourth largest tourism market for Mallorca after Germany, the UK and Spain. In terms of ranking, France has traditionally been behind the Scandinavian and Benelux countries, which are treated as single markets by the Balearic tourism ministry, but growth this summer has seen French tourism climb and this has taken the island's tourism industry a bit by surprise
There has been a similar surprise in the property sector. The president of Mallorca's Chamber of Commerce, Antoni Mercant, says that there is growing French investment in residential and tourist accommodation property in both Mallorca and Minorca. In Mallorca, this is mainly the purchase of homes in coastal areas.
As for tourism, forecasts for air and sea traffic from France are being exceeded. Mercant believes that the positive development of the French market is the result of Council of Mallorca promotional campaigns. Another factor has been the success of the Corsica Ferries service from Toulon to Ciutadella (Minorca) and Alcudia.
The French Consulate in Palma points to 25% growth in French tourism since June. The consul, Michel Magnier, says that this is a French family tourism. It appreciates Mallorca and Minorca, and increased connectivity - air and sea - has had a positive effect.
The president of the Palma and Cala Mayor Hoteliers Association, Javier Vich, points to the impact in Palma. There has been a doubling of French tourism compared with 2019, and it is up to 16% of hotel occupancy in some cases. Noting that far more French number plates can be seen, Vich says that French tourism "has been the great surprise of the summer".
Coming back to property, the French and also the Italian markets have been leading the way in terms of purchases. The pandemic has contributed to this situation. This said, where the Italian market is concerned, it has been outstripping the British for some years.
* In 2020, which was obviously not a representative year, Mallorca attracted 107,000 French tourists, fourth behind Spanish (710,000), German (665,000) and British (152,000). In 2019 there were 514,000 French tourists, behind Benelux (600,000) and Scandinavia (730,000).