The biggest eyebrow-raising surprise in Wednesday's front page splash that lifted the lid on the true extent of the freefall in Magaluf bar takings this year .....is that the bar owners are surprised!


With the Pound buying more Euros than ever before (£1 trousers you a whopping 1.40EUR as I write); the Greek financial crisis; cheaper air fares; Tunisian terrorism; no World Cup distractions; and a summer weather washout in the UK - and I could go on - this shouldawouldacoulda been a season that posted a 20% rise in turnover with the right strategy. Not a jaw-dropping plummet of that magnitude. (And it could get worse)


But the resort, now in July as quiet as a proverbial church mouse (despite increasingly-desperate appeals on twitter to ignore the media lies and that it remains the biggest party resort in the world) only has itself to blame. The only benefit to the idea mooted earlier this year to fly over English police officers to the resort would be to swell the hotel occupancy levels.


As England's schools prepare to down textbooks for the big summer holidays, Magaluf hotels are already being filled with Italian tourists - traditionally the end-of-the season holidaymakers who descend on Majorca only when the English "invasion" is over. And with less spending power. Many fear that they are already here is a signal that the hotels have pressed the panic button - despite their own sexed-up occupancy levels giving a different picture to the desperate fire sale prices you can get on the web with savings in many hotels 71% off the rack rate.


With breathtaking naivety, too many of the now bleating bar owners believed the hype amid the lurid worldwide headlines they were happy to create and promote last year - in the misguided belief that all publicity is good publicity. It isn't. Far from it. They thought they were using the media when, surprise surprise, the media were using them. There are very few women here this year on the back of those headlines - and, as sure as eggs are eggs, this will mean there will be fewer men around next year. The fact that UK national journalists, all set to bed down here over the summer, have already packed their bags and left says it all - Job done. The party is over for Magaluf. Its final full stop beckons.


And as the death knell for the resort sounds louder and louder as a result of the some of the bar owners' short-sightedness, they may be better served to remember another adage that was drilled into me by a man I regard as the doyen of media handling - "Silence is your friend, gabble is your enemy". 


The last 12 months scream enough material for a masterclass in PR disasters, and - in the words of Basil Fawlty - a Mastermind subject in "Stating The Bleeding Obvious".


Richard Chew

Yorkshire and Calvia