A tour guide takes visitors along Palma's C. Sant Miquel. | Jaume Morey


Not all the tourism statistics for April are yet available, but those which are point to this April having been record-breaking. The total of overnight stays in the Balearics was 3,419,094, the highest ever and 21% more than in 2022 and 11.6% more than in 2019.

Mallorca had 3,170,697 of these stays, an aspect of April tourism performance having been that of the two main supplier markets. German and British tourism dipped last year by comparison with 2019, but in April (based on overnight stays), it was up by 8.8% and 3.5% respectively.

Another indicator comes from the airport. Passenger arrivals at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport in April totalled 1,411,656 - 10.9% up over 2022.

Related news

That was April, while for May the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation reported the other day that the pattern was much the same, with average occupancy around 75%. In 2019, according to Balearic tourism ministry figures, average occupancy for April was 69% and for May it was 66%. The Easter factor influences these figures, but the president of the hoteliers federation, Maria Frontera, says that the post-Easter dip, which has traditionally "plagued" the island, "has disappeared". This is partly being attributed to major sports events, e.g. Ironman 70.3 in Alcudia.

Although advance bookings for the main summer season aren't as high as they were in pre-pandemic years, the island's tourism industry is unconcerned by this. Covid changed consumer behaviour. Last-minute booking is way more prevalent than it once was. Hotels know this and have adapted accordingly. Frontera explains that the pandemic led to technological improvements which have resulted in better marketing. "We now have sophisticated rate structures that are creating a diversification in sales and better prices."

All forecasts for June to September are very good, the airport providing another indicator. Seat availability is up by around 20%. This doesn't mean that all seats are taken but it gives a hint as to what may well prove to be the case - a record year. For all the Balearic government talk of tourist numbers being managed, the tourist total for the Balearics in 2022 was only 397 lower than in 2019. That total looks certain to be beaten, while 2023 may well see the all-time record year - 2018 - being eclipsed as well.