The Balearics are busy playing the numbers game again. According to officialdom the island is enjoying a record summer season but according to those at the tourism frontline, things are quiet to say the least. The island is busy but the spending power of tourists is lower than usual. Gone are the days when holidaymakers would come to the island for a ten-day stay; in some instances now it has been reduced to just a long weekend. Ask anyone in Magalluf and Arenal and they will tell you that the weekends are busy but during the so-called working week things are quiet. The growth in all inclusive holidays is once again giving bar and restaurant owners a very tough time and in Palma even cruise line passengers are not spending as much as they once did. One taxi driver told me the other day that in many cases cruise passengers buy as little as a bottle of water when they come to Palma. Now, the Balearics needs a good summer season. Our economic recovery depends on it. I think we are going to get the numbers but I sincerely doubt that the season will be as good as the Balearic government would like to think. It is once again a question of putting a positive spin on some alleged good news during a deep economic recession. It is a dangerous game. If the islands do have a poor season then this winter will be exceptionally bleak. Let us hope that the Balearic government is right and we do have a good season but I am not convinced.
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