A fresh political battle broke out yesterday over the condition of the Balearic tourist industry after two conflicting sets of figures have been produced about how much tourists spent this year. Balearic Tourism Minister Celesti Alomar is sticking by his department's findings that show spending is up by as much as seven per cent, but top economists at the Balearic university have concluded that spending has in fact fallen by 2.1 per cent, the first drop in eight years. Alomar, trying to convince parliament that all is well in the tourist industry, came under fire from opposition Partido Popular spokesperson, Joan Flaquer, for failing to recognise the results of the university's study and that all is, in fact, not “excellent,” as he claims. Flaquer said that the drop in spending is “a clear reflection that things are not going well and that the government lacks a clear tourism planning policy and not enough is being done to promote the Balearics.” Flaquer said the results are “worrying” and that the drop in spending “can be attributed to erratic tourism policies which are sending out the wrong message to the tourist industry and tourists.” But Alomar hit back saying that “one of Spain's top companies” carried out his department's study, “so I have no doubt the figures are correct, the tourist industry is functioning well because we are doing things properly,” he added.

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