The business genius credited by many of his ex-colleagues yesterday of having put "fun" into overseas family holidays, Harry Goodman, has sadly died. But according to many of those travel experts I spoke to yesterday, the sense of "fun" in a family holiday died quite a long time ago. And this year, according to the latest market reports and boardroom comments, there are not going to be too many laughs for Majorca and the Balearics as a whole.
For the big tour operators determined to make a return on their new hotels in Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia which have had a troubled past few seasons, these destinations are going to come first. They are also significantly cheaper than the Balearics and, as the local hoteliers discovered at the ITB Berlin trade fair, they have a proper fight on their hands this year to maintain those tourists "borrowed" because of the security issues.
Goodman always used to say that the public "votes with its feet" when booking a holidays and with that he meant by looking at the bottom line - value for money. He told the Bulletin eight years ago that, sooner or later, the Balearics would get caught out for being greedy, for "killing the golden goose", and the UK industry fears this may be the year when the golden goose’s egg begins to crack. One travel boss told me: "Tourist tax is being doubled, traffic curbed, hotels rates hiked and slogans are telling us to go home. Some people might just decide to stay at home. Where has all the fun gone?"
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