ALARM BELLS SHOULD BE RINGING

By Jason Moore

IF the alarming bells aren't ringing they should be. The Balearics are once again facing a poor summer season while the rest of Spain appears to be booming. The islands were singled out as the tourism dunces of Spain in an upbeat Spanish TV report on the state of the industry broadcast over the weekend. All the excuses for the decline in tourism to the Balearics are no longer valid because the mainland is prospering. A record number of holidaymakers went to the mainland and the Canary Islands last year but tourism to the Balearics fell by 10 percent. The reason for the fall is clear. The Balearics are far more expensive than the mainland and this state of affairs has not been helped by the tourist tax. If this state of affairs does not improve soon then the islands will be faced with a severe slowdown. The Balearic government needs to bury its differences with the tourist sector and start taking a close look at the industry and attempting to iron out all its faults. The Balearic tourist industry has developed because it was always perceived as a value for money destination. No longer I am afraid. The decline in the value of sterling will hit the British market and I sincerely doubt that the Germans will ever return in the numbers we saw three or four years ago. Some common sense and dialogue is needed now. This island cannot afford any fall in visitor numbers. Let us just hope that our politicians get the message and start trying to put the Balearics at the top of the industry in Spain.

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