Contrary to popular belief, figures released yesterday point towards a very slight increase in the number of tourists coming to the Balearics during the first six months of this year. Between the start of the year and the end of June, the Balearics received a total of 5.3 million tourists, 0.4 per cent more than during the same period last year.
And the British are catching up on the Germans. While the British market has traditionally dominated the national market, the Germans have for many years been the strongest source in the Balearics. However, the difference between the two has shrunk significantly.
So far this year, the Germans have accounted for a 30.2 per cent share of the market compared to the 29.4 per cent stake taken by the British. In past years, the German share has typically been five per cent greater for the Balearics as a whole and much greater for Majorca alone - up to 17%; German tourism in Ibiza and Minorca has traditionally been much lower than British tourism.
Looking at the big picture, though, all leading Spanish destinations, apart from the Balearics, have suffered from the revival of the Greek, Turkish and north African markets. For example, Catalonia, the country’s most popular destination, experienced a slight drop of 0.8 per cent and the Canary Islands a slump of 2.1 per cent.
And while 8.4 million Britons came to Spain during the first six months of this year, the number was two per cent down on last year, and the 5.2 million Germans were 5.7 per cent lower than 2017. Growth markets have been Portugal, Switzerland, the United States, the Netherlands, Italy and Russia.