Spain is still Britain's number one holiday destination with some 12 million British holidaymakers per year heading to Iberia with the Canaries and the Balearics still top of the list of favourite Spanish destinations. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Juan José Guemes said at the World Travel Market in London yesterday that one in four tourists who visit Spain every year, come from the United Kingdom and that the number of British tourists coming to Spain is increasing at an annual rate of 9.5 percent. According to the Secretary of State, the 12'171'000 British holidaymakers who opted for Spain this year makes the United Kingdom Spain's primary market. But while the Balearic government believes that the islands have reached saturation point, Guemes said that Spain as a whole can still work on expanding the tourist industry and its market in order to meet growing demand. According to Guemes, the number of tourists visiting Spain will continue growing next year, but the domestic tourist industry will have to become more competitive in order to fend off tougher market challenges from other southern European and North African destinations, as well as long haul, such as Australia and the States which are enjoying a boom on the UK high street. The Balearics need to listen and act on what the Secretary of State had to say. While the Balearics and the Canaries are still the most popular Spanish destinations, the biggest growth areas have been on mainland Spain which is becoming increasingly more attractive to UK holidaymakers than the islands.

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