While there are rumours that the number of German tourists visiting the Balearics this summer will either stagnate or even drop slightly, the British market is set for a summer sun bonanza. The director of the Spanish Tourist Office in London, Manuel Butler, said in Palma yesterday that the British market to Majorca will increase by ten per cent, nine per cent in Minorca, and 12 per cent more Britons will be heading to Ibiza this summer. However, the figures are slightly lower than the rest of Spain, which is braced for a 14 per cent global rise in British tourism with Costa Dorada and Benidorm ready for a 23 per cent increase. On the other hand, the Canaries, which have had a poor winter, are forecast to have a rather weak summer. Butler said that in the run-up to Christmas holidays, sales in the UK were down some seven per cent - the “millennium flop” but the market has picked up briskly and the Mediterranean is expected to enjoy a healthy summer. Turkey, which suffered a 35 per cent fall in British tourists last year, is expected to fight tooth and nail to regain the market's confidence. It could well give the more traditional destinations a run for their money as “the destination offering the best value for money in the Mediterranean”, according to British tour operator sources.

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