By Jason Moore

OVER the last few weeks there had been a greater deal of optimism within the tourist industry. Bookings to the island had risen as a result of the crisis in the Middle East and Spain was back in fashion. But two events have put the champagne back on ice. The civil war in Libya has seen oil prices go through the roof which will make the price of a package holiday more expensive.

And then earlier this week airport staff announced 22 days of strike action over the Easter and summer holiday periods. Now, I suspect that the strike will be called off because it is just another case of the Spanish unions trying to use their muscle. But unfortunately the damage has already been done. Every national newspaper in Britain carried the strike story and so did the TV news channels.

Obviously the last thing you want to do us book a holiday and then find your plans disrupted by an airport strike. You simply go somewhere else which is strike free. Now, Britain is no stranger to industrial action by airport staff but you have to remember that people´s 10 day holiday is their star event of the year. You can say that Spain has scored an own goal of enormous proportions. The Spanish government needs to deal with this issue soon because otherwise the consequences could be big.