THERE is something very wrong with the Balearic tourist industry. Hotels are empty, shops are suffering and there appears to be no end in sight. The reason, I am afraid to say, is that these islands have become complacent. Standards of service have dropped and prices have increased because everyone thought that tourists would always come to the Balearics.
The tour operators had cried wolf before and in the end the islands had a record season. But this year is different. The tourists aren´t coming for a variety of reasons ranging from the ash cloud to prices in the Balearics. The British are travelling but at the moment the Balearics appears to be out of favour with competing destinations in eastern Europe doing exceptionally well. I believe that the islands should use this quiet period to get its house in order. Prices need to fall and the general level of service needs to improve. I also believe that some sections of the local population need to be told once and for all that these islands live from tourism and if holidaymakers don´t come here then the islands have a severe problem. In some ways the Balearics needs to re-invent itself. Now, is the right time. Hotels need to be modernlised and resorts up-graded.
The cheaper holiday destinations in the eastern Mediterranean are not going to go away, they are going to continue to prosper. I don´t know what the future holds for these islands but unless something is done fast then there is trouble ahead.
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