Anticipation that the total number of tourists in 2022 will be on a par with 2019. | Miquel À. Cañellas


As the tourism season draws towards its close, indicators are that Mallorca and the Balearics will have achieved a more or less total recovery in terms of tourist numbers. September's figures, which won't be confirmed until early November, are expected to have been around the pre-pandemic mark; higher perhaps. When the year ends, the anticipation is that the total number of tourists will be in line with 2018 and 2019 - in the region of 16.5 million.

In considering the strength of recovery, it is important to take account of the total number - Spanish as well as foreign. Statistics presented on a monthly basis typically fail to highlight the Spanish market, as emphasis is given to the Frontur survey of foreign tourist movement and the Egatur survey of foreign tourist spending.

The contribution of Spanish tourism is quite striking. Between January and August, the Balearics attracted 2.41 million Spanish tourists, not far off the number of British tourists (2.47 million), with German tourists at 3.06 million. In August alone, there were 625,000 Spanish tourists, a number which was above both German and British - respectively 613,000 and 572,000. Spain is the third largest market, but it was unusual to find it outstripping Germany and the UK in August. In 2019, there was 2.07 million Spanish tourists to end-August. For August alone in that year, there were 467,000, compared with 647,000 British and 590,000 German.

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Up to end-August, German tourism was down 5.4% (compared with 2019) and British was down nine per cent. Of other markets, Benelux was up slightly, Scandinavia was down by almost 30% and France was up 14%. Given this variable performance and the falls in the two main markets, achieving something like parity with 2019 is a reflection of Spain's contribution.

Meanwhile, the US market, much coveted by Mallorca, registered a record number of tourists up to end-August - 108,710. By way of a comparison, this was over 100,000 lower than the Belgian market alone (225,000).

As for tourist spending, despite there having been 173,000 fewer tourists in all by end-August, this was up by 540 million euros. This figure excludes Spanish spending. And here lies something of the rub. For the first eight months of the year, the Germans spent 3,433 million euros, the British 2,789 million. The Spanish figure was 1,594 million.