Has the time come for local hoteliers to stand alone and take advantage of modern technology so that tourists can book directly? Most of the bigger hotel chains on the island have sophisticated online booking systems but the smaller hotels still rely heavily on tour firms to fill their rooms.
The demise of Thomas Cook underlined, once again, how dependent local hotels are on the tour operator. The collapse of the travel giant left enormous debts on the island and many fear that these debts will never be paid. So now is a golden opportunity for the industry to try and stand alone and attract as many tourists to their own booking sites. This would have enormous advantages for the local industry and would also give them some independence.
I remember years ago one Balearic tourism minister suggested that the islands should establish their own tour firm with its own airline. It wasn´t a bad idea if you think about it. But these days the industry has changed and with a decent hotel booking system and of course the “no frills airlines” the island´s hoteliers can stand alone. They will even be able to control their own pricing.
Times are changing within the travel industry and perhaps the time has come for the industry to move with the times. The demise of Thomas Cook has shown the way forward. It will be interesting to see if the necessary courage exists within the industry.
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