DESPITE the rather misleading and upbeat messages from the local authorities, it is now obvious that the tourist industry is suffering its worst slowdown, probably ever. Over the weekend the association of city centre hotel owners said that they were facing their worst winter ever with some hotels being forced to close their doors in the winter for the first time.
The local authorities have claimed that next summer will be much better than this year because of economic recovery in Britain and Germany. Well, I don´t know if the Balearic government has got a crystal ball and can see into the future but the British economy is still contracting and recovery is a long way off. The German economy has recovered but unemployment is still high and there is still a long way to go. The best thing that the local authorities can do at the moment is to work closely with the leading tour firms. The extra money which has been earmarked for promotion needs to be spent well and not on hosting receptions for the industry at trade fairs and tennis tournaments. Money needs to be spent on TV advertising and underlining the fact that the Balearics is a first class place where you can go away on holiday. The tourist industry faces a major crisis and the time has come for some action.