by Jason Moore

I am confused. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, said in Palma yesterday that August was one of the best months ever for tourism. But local hoteliers said only a few weeks ago that the hotel occupancy level never reached the 100 percent mark in August (for the first time ever). British tour firms have also said that the market fell in August as a result of the London Olympics.

Everyone I meet has said that it hasn´t been a great summer season. So has the Secretary of State got access to secret figures? I wish the tourist industry would get together and sing from the same hymn sheet.

One day we have a record season the next we are back in recession again. It it always a mixed picture. Now obviously the Spanish government needs to talk up the tourism industry especially in these difficult economic times. But I doubt that many people who work in the industry would agree with the Secretary of State especially when a large number of local hotels will be closing their doors for business this month.

Also, a good August does not automatically mean that it has been a good summer season. It helps but many people are concerned that the summer season is getting shorter every year. This winter is going to be especially difficult. German airlines have cut back on the number of flights they have to the island and while there are more flights this winter to Britain, it is not enough to ensure a good winter tourism programme.