By Jason Moore

A radical shake-up of the tourist industry is needed if Majorca is to compete against resorts in the eastern Mediterranean. What we are seeing this year is that hundreds of thousands of people are coming to the island on holiday but with limited spending power.

The tourism figures will be inflated this year as a result of the troubles in the Middle East, namely in Tunisia and Egypt, which led to many people opting to come to Majorca instead. However, what is causing much concern at the moment is that the summer season gets shorter every year. There is aschool of thought which says that hotels should be forced to remain open for at least eight months of the year, this would naturally extend the summer season. At the moment the vast majority of hotels are closing their doors for business in September and re-opening in April. This effectively means that between these dates no tourists can come to the island unless they are staying in one of the few hotels which remain open or own a home on the island.

This is a nightmare scenario. At the moment there is a cosy agreement between hoteliers and the government which allows them to employ staff for six months of the year and for the remainder they can claim unemployment benefit. Some say that this should change with hoteliers obliged to stay open for eight months otherwise the unemployment benefit would not be paid. It is a idea which is worth considering.

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