In reply to the viewpoint of Mr Brian Roberts 26.10.11.
Unfortunately Wellies was not the only business to mention to their customers that they would not be trading fully during the winter season, see Thomson Airways page 31.
I have lived and worked on the Island for the past 24 years and when I started I worked as a Holiday Representative for the largest Tour operator at the time. We had to work on 9 month contracts and take 12 weeks holidays, however the resorts of Cala Bona, Palma Nova and Magalluf were open all year round yes I repeat they were open for 12 months of the year. I worked in many of these hotels from Sol Melia, Gruphotel, Marina Balear, Acorn e.t.c. and believe you me the occupation of these hotels were full to brimming. Of course in those days we had the flights to bring the people to the Island not like today. During the winter months we were hosting welcome parties for over 100 people per flying day, which were all day Monday & Friday and Saturday mornings, guests would come for 3, 4, 7, 10, 14 night stays and many of our young at heart guests stayed for long periods of time some up to 3 months. They used to tell me it was cheaper than staying at home and that they knew they would be well looked after in the hotels, as well as having the companionship of other guests and constant entertainment.
We used to have a lot of golfers come for weekend breaks, cyclists as the climate was good for them, couples on short breaks our older generation for some of the reasons mentioned above e.t.c.
We didn't always have good weather either so this cannot be used as an excuse as has been used recently I believe by Willie Walsh when the brochures used to be called Winter Sun, but I do believe we have more sunshine here in the winter months than back in the U.K. and it is the break away that people want, as if the weather is not good then there is always entertainment on in the hotels for the guests to enjoy, we used to have tea dances, board games, quizzes e.t.c. and you could guarantee our guests went away with having had an enjoyable stay, had their fill of good food from the hotels and if it was cold outside then the hotels we cosy inside.
I hope Mr Roberts is one of the lucky ones who can afford to go one of the cruise liners, but surely he cannot compare the prices of low cost package holidays and flights, also I cannot see cyclists and golfers coming back to the island on a short break cruise wouldn't be worth their while, and yes we need them to come back on winter breaks as goodness knows we have enough golf courses to accommodate them, or do they now close in the winter due to lack of support.
When a tourist island closes for a whole 6 months Mr Roberts do you have any idea what this does to our dole queues, are you aware of the amount of people who will be joining this despicable line up this year, from coach drivers, to cleaners, to kitchen staff to receptionists.
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