The Majorcan travel industry had a rather hard time last week in Berlin where the ITB tourism fair was taking place. All is not well with the German market; the local authorities have been trying to convince everyone that everything is rosy. But it isn't. Hoteliers have been forced to slash their prices by 30 per cent and there is talk of 400,000 fewer German tourists this year. So, what has happened to the German market? Unlike the British market, which goes up and down like an aeroplane in turbulence, the German market has always remained relatively stable: rising but never really falling. But this year Majorca could be in for a real shock. The Germans, or at least 10 per cent of them, appear to be going elsewhere. Turkey is proving popular. The Germans are not that impressed by the tourist tax and are looking for other cheaper alternatives. This is a body blow for the Balearics. It is a question of if Germany sneezes, Majorca gets a cold. There is no chance that the Brits will make up for the missing Germans; there are major fears over the British market as well, especially with Brexit on the horizon.
This sudden fall in German tourists has come at a crucial time; it is an election year and if the tourist tax is blamed for the steep (forecasted) drop, then the Balearic government is in trouble. It could cost them votes. The Balearics are facing big problems with the two main holiday markets. It could be a nightmare scenario for the islands. If I were the Balearic government, I would announce plans to slash the tourist tax as a sign of good faith. Otherwise we could be heading for a season to forget.