I was quite amazed to see that the Balearic minister for tourism, Bel Busquets, had rounded on the opposition Partido Popular in the Balearic parliament for telling her what many believe are home truths. The PP had claimed that the islands were losing their competitive edge because of the increase in the rate of the tourist tax and also said that Turkey and other destinations had become serious competitors.
These concerns have been voiced by many people, including hoteliers. But the minister accused the PP of "wishing for a bad holiday season" and of "talking the industry down". Surely it is the job of the opposition to ask questions and put ministers on the spot. The figures at the moment point to a good holiday season for the Balearics, and it is true that concerns have been raised about the doubling of the tourist tax. It is said that there could be a drop in tourism this year and even the Balearic government has hinted that there will be fewer tourists. Hoteliers, who have been forced to lower their prices because of the increased competition, are furious that the tax has been raised.
Rather than criticising the opposition, perhaps Busquets should listen to them. They might just have a point. These are difficult times for the tourist industry and voices of concern should not be dismissed.
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