Balearic Tourism Minister Celesti Alomar said yesterday be considers the region in perfect shape to deal with the drop in tourism, a phenomenon which has hit destinations in general. While the Balearics has suffered the biggest drop in tourism in Spain this year and is now the third most popular destination after Cataluña, which saw figures rise by 17 per cent this year, and Andalucia, which also had an increase of 3.2 per cent in tourism, Alomar said that the Balearic situation is “within the normality,” adding that the prime reason for the decline is the German crisis. Alomar questioned claims that Cataluña is now Spain's top destination. He said that most people who go to Cataluña, go to Barcelona, nowhere else in the region, and only stay for two to three days “when they come here they stay for at least a week.” With regards to next summer, Alomar has faith in the British holiday market. While there are signs of the effects of the German economic crisis lasting longer than expected, a further drop in Germans of a similar size is highly unlikely, while the indication from the United Kingdom show that Balearic holiday bookings for next summer are up by 13 per cent, which very nearly plugs the huge gap in the German market. German charter airlines and tour operators are considering further cut backs, while United Kingdom airlines, especially the no-frills operators are unveiling new routes to the Balearics from a host of new airports as competition on the United Kingdom to Palma routes hots up.

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