I don't want to be a kill-joy but I can't really believe that next summer is going to be the best holiday season on record. The local government has returned from the World Travel Market in London forecasting a fantastic summer season next year. Well I know its the time for goodwill but I think this is rather over the top. The economies of the Balearics' two principal markets, Britain and Germany, are struggling. Germany is close to recession and so is Britain. In the case of Britain if you've got an enormous mortgage and the property boom is coming to an end I doubt that many British families will be able to splash out on expensive holidays in the sun. The only way that the Balearics are going to get a record volume of tourists is if the tour operators slash their prices, which they did this year. We will be back to the days of a week's holiday on an all-inclusive package in Majorca costing the same as a taxi-ride from Palma to Alcudia. Interest rates in the euro-zone countries are set to rise in the New Year so I can't see mainland Spaniards or Germans having too much spare cash to spend on holidays. More importantly, no-one books their summer holiday in November anymore so the Balearic optimism is based on forecasts rather than actual bookings. You can get a good insight into the state of the holiday market probably in May but not November. I do sincerely hope that the Balearic government is right and I am wrong because after all we do depend on tourism for all our livelihoods. But let's not get carried away; the days of record-breaking summers when everyone admits that their profits have risen (even to the taxman!) are long gone. At best the Balearics should try to hold its own.
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