By Jason Moore

I AM rather bafffled. The Balearic tourist industry has just returned from the World Travel Market tourism fair in London proclaiming that the islands can look forward to another record holiday season next year. So if the summer season was so good this year, why are there 85'000 people without a job, shop sales are down and the Balearic economy is still in a sluggish condition? Now, tourism is the lifeblood of these islands and you would have thought that if the islands had a great season then the local economy would be booming. There has been an increase in tourism to the Balearics this year largely thanks to the uncertainty in resorts in North Africa.

There has also been a major growth in all inclusive packages to the island. This has led to a major drop in takings by bars and restaurants. And if the summer season was so good, then why isn´t it extended into the winter. Why are there only a handful of flights to the island from now on? There are lots of unanswered questions.

It is great news that the Balearics are heading for a good summer season again next year and that these islands are popular once again with Britain. But until the local economy starts growing again and the enormous unemployment rate is brought under control then perhaps we should keep the champagne on ice just for now. I suspect that while a record number of people have come to the Balearics this year their spending power has been much lower than on previous years.

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