THE report that Thomson Holidays planned to start selling property abroad through their travel agency outlets in the U.K., makes one wonder if the island is not heading for another bout of bad publicity. After being personally in the estate agency business for over 35 years here, with our agency holding the official AP1 title (neares U.K. equivalent: Chartered Surveyor), it was ominous when the rules changed, so that virtually anyone could sell property here, as buying a property in a foreign country needs even more expertise and knowledge than in one's home base. Selling a holiday is vastly different from selling a house From basics, such as being fully fluent in a number of languages, to keeping abreast of changing planning/building rules and regulations, being aware of illegal construction, coastal laws, proposed major road routes, etcetera, these are only a few of the many, many aspects of buying here. What in-depth information a travel clerk can give when selling a holiday is one thing, their form of operations on the island, yet another.
I recall many years past in the U.K., when the banks decided to get into property selling, they bought out, at huge prices, existing estate agents, to only a few years later, to sell back to those same agents for a nominal price. Travel firms might be better advised to stick with what they know, their track record over the years, with so many going bust, holiday makers stranded, etcetera, in their highly competitive business, they can ill afford the distraction of new horizons.
Graham Phillips, Palma de Majorca.
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