The number of German tourists coming to the Balearics in July slumped by a near record 20 percent, (compared to July 2001) according to figures released by the ministry for tourism yesterday. It is probably one of the sharpest falls ever encountered by the Balearic tourism industry. It also underlined how competing resorts in the Eastern Mediteranean have started to take a stake of the Balearic market. But it was not all bad news for the Balearics. British tourism to the Balearics fell by just 3 percent and the British are now the undisputed champions of the tourist industry. Just under 380'000 Germans came on holiday to the Balearics in July compared to 537'000 British. (Figures based on the same period last year). In Majorca German tourism fell by a record 18 percent, in Minorca it was down by 40 percent and in Ibiza it fell by 16 percent. British tourism fell by 1.6 percent in Majorca, 1.5 percent in Minorca and 8.2 percent in Ibiza. The local ministry for tourism is taking heart from the fact that British tourism, despite a number of important factors including the tourist tax and other cheaper competing resorts, is remaining loyal. The local ministry for tourism is planning a massive Balearic promotion campaign in Germany later this year to try and win back tourism. Turning to the British market, the Association of British Travel Agents, expects a full recovery in the British holiday market next year. According to a survey released by the association the Balearics will continue to be the favourite holiday spot for the British. Many local businesses have been severely hit by the slowdown in tourism and the local government has already been forced to cut economic growth targets. There are fears of a major increase in unemployment over the winter months as more tourist businesses than usual close their doors.

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