By Jason Moore
FOR many years the Balearics has complained that the tour operators have a major grip over the islands. To some extent it is true, they can make or break the summer season. It could be argued that it is all down to personal choice but if the price is right the holidaymaker can easily be led. But this year important developments have taken place. Firstly, tour operators have admitted that for standard package holidays tourists no longer need to be guided. In other words they can do it themselves, taking advantage of non-frills airlines and booking their hotel or apartment themselves. Secondly TUI UK announced this week that there would be a number of job losses in their travel agent section because more people are booking on-line. To some extent the Balearics could become its own tour operator offering hotel reservations and to some extent flights online. Balearics PLC could therefore be in a commanding position. One central reservation point and the Balearics could have a degree of independence. It's not rocket science it could be a major step forward for these islands. Instead of talking about quality plans for the future perhaps the time has come for the Balearics to look more closely at our principal industry in its present form. There are plenty of benefits if the Balearics was acting as its own tour operator with government support it could promote more winter tourism. A more hands-on approach could inform the visitors of fairs, concerts, football matches which may coincide with his or her holiday.

Inquiries and questions can be answered about the island from people who live on the island. Everyone agrees that the package holiday market is changing. Perhaps the time has come for the Balearics to realise that they can cash-in on the fact that many more people are booking online.

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