WOULD you like two weeks at a three-star hotel on half board or a one-bedroom holiday flat in Majorca?
This is the option which will soon be available at travel agents across Britain, after Britain's biggest tour company, Thomson, entered an agreement with a major property company to sell overseas homes through its network of 750 travel shops. It's a formula which certainly makes sense and underlines the popularity and the spending power of your average Briton who these days can afford a holiday home in the sun. It also illustrates how the travel industry is changing and how tour operators are battling to enter new markets. Your standard bucket-and-spade package holiday is in decline; the no-frills airlines have changed the shape of European travel and have helped fuel the overseas property boom. Tour operators were rather caught out by the low cost carriers and entered the market late, by which time easyJet and Ryanair had already gained a vital foothold. But it is rather ironic that the no-frills airlines should play such a key role in this latest venture by Thomson. The travel industry has almost come full circule. From 10 days in the sun to a permanent home. It is a natural progression and it is all good news for the Balearics. Whether it will be successful, we will just have to wait and see. But I think the local authorities should take note and just see how the industry is changing. There is a greater need now to underline the virtues of residential tourism and how the islands can benefit. Also, once again it shows that owning a home in the Balearics is a rock solid investment which is gaining in value almost by the week.
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