THE festive season has come to an end and unfortunately many of the problems which had been put on hold have come home to roost. All of a sudden businesses are complaining that there are no clients about and the few that are don´t spend, that this year more hotels than ever appear to have closed for the winter and overall the local economy appears to be suffering. Welcome to January 2008! Whatever our local politicians say winter tourism in the Balearics has become little more than a joke. I would say that the number of people coming here for winter holidays has declined every year for the last decade; in Calvia, Pollensa and Alcudia you can almost count on a single hand the hotels that are open in the low season. Unfortunately our summer season gets shorter every year and despite the fact that a record number of tourists are allegedly coming to the islands their spending power continues to drop. 2008 is going to be a difficult year that is for sure but until these islands have a forward thinking tourism plan which embraces every season we are going to continue to have problems.
I read with interest a report over the weekend which stated that shops in Madrid have been given the green light to open on Sundays. What a great idea. Isn´t it a great shame that the Balearics can´t do the same. In Madrid they have come to the conclusion that the only way to help shops to survive is to allow them to open when they want. In the Balearics they appear to do the exact opposite.