Dear Sir,

Your article Thursday “Resorts feeling the German pinch again” referring to the drop in the number of German tourists on the Playa de Palma only surprises me in that the number of Brits hasn't also decreased as dramatically – we have been treating all tourists equally badly.

People have long memories and the Tourist Tax will take time to be forgotten. The last Government was only fulfilling its manifesto in switching from bulk low spend tourism to select high spending ones. As your article shows it has achieved phase 1 but not phase 2. Does anyone in the Tourist Department ever think that this philosophy can be construed as insulting to working class holiday makers? Over the last few years there has been a reaction by Majorcans against growth in the tourist industry. On the Playa de Palma there have been successful demonstrations to restrict activities on both the Beer and Ham Streets specifically German haunts. There was even a movie “Balaman 6” made about the holiday life style on these very streets, a film as popular in Germany as “The Full Monty” in the UK, making the Balneario 6 a photo opportunity. No doubt the area was noisy at 3 a.m. but it was that way when the residents first moved in to rent or buy their apartments. Now it is quiet we should not complain at the cost in lost business.

After all our poorer eastern Mediterranean neighbours are benefiting. Finally let's forget the fill up factor of tourists from Rumania, Poland and dare I mention Russia? These markets are trivial and will remain so for years. Our bread and butter is not in Eastern Europe, neither is it in Italy, Portugal nor even France – it is in North Europe. Germany however is a special case. For years they avoided holidays to France, Italy, Greece and the UK, in fact almost the whole of Europe because they were disliked. Germans were generally welcomed here. Spain was their number one option – now they aren't appreciated to the same degree. Their welcome in the rest of Europe has warmed as the ghosts of World War Two disappeared and prejudices among the new generations died. If your predictions of a 40% drop in Arenal (a mainly German zone) and 15% in Can Pastilla (mainly British) are realised it will be a very grim summer for business on the beach. I think we've had it coming.

Mike Lillico, Playa de Palma


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