Yes we can! Full marks to the people of Pollensa who have shown the way forward with their meeting calling for more low-season tourism. The announcement that Ryanair will be connecting Palma with Scotland during the winter, backed by more winter flights from northern airports from Jet2 is slowly getting the ball rolling and I must admit there does appear to be a change in attitude. If you mentioned winter tourism three years ago, people would look at you and laugh and say that no one wants to come here in the winter. Wrong! Geoff Hopkins of the Sis Pins Hotel in Puerto Pollensa reports that they have had an excellent winter season and Geoff runs one of the few hotels in that area which actually stays open throughout the year. Now local businesses in the area are pondering whether they should keep open in the low season as well. There is a movement which is gathering momentum that Majorca can be a low-season destination. The new Hyatt hotel in Canyamel, which opens shortly, will be open throughout the year. The general manager, John Beveridge, is a big supporter of winter tourism to Majorca. So we are heading in the right direction. All we need is for the Balearic government to spend some of the money raising through the tourist tax on promoting the island as a winter holiday destination. Times are changing and for once winter tourism is becoming a reality not just a dream. Well done to all.

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Ron / Hace over 2 years

This is exactly the problem as Simon points out. Spain's autonomous regions and central government have always been socialists since Felipe Gonzales, bringing in high social security contributions for big pensions and employment benefits - (apart from the periods of the watered down central right party). Spain has used the EU to it's benefit by having its millions of pesetas of inversion from Europe - building it's infrastructure into a modern country after having suffered 40 years in the dark. The result of this now is the that Spain is a very rich country with expensive social, health, education costs etc. And taking on staff is just part of this, not viable in winter in tourist areas, unless there are guarantees and concessions to the businesses. Until European countries play on a level field winter tourism will always be a niche market.

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Simon Tow / Hace over 2 years

I agree with Ron. It's just not financially viable, not like in the "old" days when staff costs were considerably lower and the hotels were block booked by companies who marketed lengthy package holidays for the older generations. That market disappeared for ever when chambermaids starting earning more than the clients who occupied the rooms they were cleaning. In other words, it all boils down to costs and price.

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Andy Rawson / Hace over 2 years

Someone doesn't want British and Irish tourists here in the winter. The question is who?

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Sean Dobson / Hace over 2 years

So yet another area you would like the tourist tax money to be spent on other than it's stated purpose,anything else you would like the tourist tax to be spent on besides it's declared purpose.?

+7-

Ron / Hace over 2 years

There have always been tourists coming here in winter. Only that in the last few years there have been fewer flights from UK. Although before those recent additions there were daily Gatwick & Stansted flights as well others from Bristol and Birmingham. Just look at the arrivals board at the airport and see the large number of flights coming in from all over Europe. The problem here is that the bars, restaurants and hotels cannot afford to open as staff costs just do not justify opening in the winter. Only the small family run local bars open all year round. If this government was serious about winter tourism it would offer incentives to them - reduce taxes and allow more casual staff. But I fear the problem is after a busy summer they want to have 3 or 4 months holiday. A note to fellow Scots : Now Ryan Air have done what we pleaded for, please use them. If not, those flights will disappear next year. The airlines are not in business to support our winter tourism!!

+2-