Balearics blamed for holding spanish industry back

The Balearics has suffered a shortfall of an average 80.000 tourists per month so far this year, while Spain in general has welcomed 1.5 million more tourists and the increase would have been greater had it not been for the Balearic slump. According to the Secretary of State for Tourism and Commerce, Juan Costa yesterday, during the first ten months of this year, 46.2 million tourists came to Spain, 2.6 more than last year, while in the Balearics, the figure is down by 7.9 per cent, the equivalent of 800.000 visitors less in those months. The Canaries and Madrid have also seen tourism figures fall by 4.1 and 7.8 per cent respectively. The main reason has been the German decline and for a region such as the Balearics which has been so dependent on the German market for the past decade, the consequences have been dire with a 16.2 per cent fall in German tourism. The British market is now the dominant market in the Balearics and across Spain, but in the Balearics it was unable to compensate for the German crisis which tourism experts predict will continue into next summer. So far this year, 12.988.855 Britons have come to Spain, 2.8 per cent more than last year, while the 9.155.249 Germans, represents a global decline of 7.7 per cent, twice as high in the Balearics. The region is now expected to end the year with a 1.7 per cent fall in tourism and it would appear that the figures have been accepted in Palma as there was no war of words over figures raging last night. Costa singled out the tourist tax as one of the main reasons for the drop in tourism in the Balearics and for Spain being unable to celebrate an increase of two million tourists this year. He added that the Balearics are finding it hard in resolving the problem as the government's tourism policies clash with those of central government.

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