Reader poll
OVER the weekend, we asked readers of our digital edition,, in Britain if war with Iraq would alter their holiday plans. Here are some of their comments.

Dear Sir,

Although not totally un–concerned, there are other factors other than the possibility of another Gulf war which will greater influence any decision I make about visiting Majorca this summer. Firstly tour operators prices. For years now tour operators have been grossly overpricing their holidays and only reduce them to realistic prices when departure dates approach and planes are half full. Each year your newspaper reports headlines such as “bookings slump” etc but at the end of the season hotels have been reasonably full, the tour operators have made money and everybody is happy! Tour operators, by their own admission, inflate brochure prices and then offer “massive discounts” and until this, and other hidden costs such as paying for in–flight meals and transfers ceases, the buying public will always hold off booking in order to pay an accepatable price. Don't even start me off on flight supplements from Scotland! Secondly, fears of crime. There would now seem to be an increasing probability that we tourists will become the victim of some crime or other, whether it be in the street or in the hotel/apartment. The onus here is very much on the authorities and hoteliers to tighten up on security and until they do we will always have reservations about coming. Don't get me wrong – we tourists want to come, and indeed will come, but many in the tourist industry need to take notice of what is happening around them and get their house in order. Remember – we have the money in our pocket and we can choose! Despite all that, hopefully see you in June.
Robin Law

Dear Sir,

We have just returned from a very pleasant break on your beautiful island from 24th – 31st January. Mixed weather, but a happy time. We will be on the island again from 6th – 27th July war or no war; although there WILL be a war whether the electorate wish it or not, and whether the cause is right or wrong. The tourist industry should not worry so much.The holiday destinations nearer the war zone may become less attractive e.g. Cyprus, Egypt, the Red Sea, Turkey, the Greek islands etc. This could make the Balearics even busier. You have a lot to offer.

Frank & Jackie Toner
Cupar, Fife, Scotland and Santa Ponca,

Dear Sir,

After years of the IRA trying to frighten us, there is nothing that would give me greater pleasure than to stare this madman in the eye and carry on with plans as usual!

Best regards
Ian McGregor

Dear Sir,

As a frequent visitor to Palma Nova over a number of years, I would like to point out a few observations. The Tourist Tax: it will greatly harm the island, as judging by the hotel I am staying in, the majority will not return as long as this tax continues. Some have already booked to go to Malta next year. We are staying at the Mimosa Park Hotel and have been asked to sign over our rights to a refund of the tax in the event of it being deemed illegal in the courts. We have heard that other hotels have been giving guest vouchers to the value of the tax, for use in the hotel. We have received nothing of this kind. The local paper quotes tourism down by 10%, but I think it will be down 30% next year. Prices in hotels and local bars have risen out of all proportion and spirit measures are halved, but the price of alcohol in the shops has not risen in proportion to this. The government is bulding lovely walkways but soon there will be no visitors to use them, not to mention the fouling of the pavements by dogs, this is really disgusting. This is a health hazard for children. In the UK, it is a fineable offence to allow your dog to foul any public area, bins are provided for disposal. We feel this is a shame that this is happening to the island, we will be back but many will not.
Mrs and Mrs J Burns
Dundee, Scotland

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