TWO of Britain's principal tour operators, MyTravel (formerly Airtours) and First Choice have announced upbeat trading reports over the last few weeks. Now what I found rather interesting is that both companies underlined the success of their long haul programme and how exotic destinations were becoming ever more popular. I scanned through both reports supplied to us by Reuters news agency and I was surprised to find no mention of the Balearic Islands. Until very recently you could safely say that the Balearics would play a key role in the tour firms' market report, after all it is the principal holiday destination for the British. But tourism is changing. Tour operators have sensibly realised, long haul package holidays are the way to combat the growth in the no-frills airline industry. The so-called independent traveller is taking Europe's familiar sun-spots by storm. Tour firms have therefore been forced to look further afield and offer a greater variety of get-aways from adventure travel to long haul. The travel industry is changing dramatically. The growth in on-line holiday sales has been spectacular; your average holidaymaker is becoming far more adventurous. All I hope is that the people in charge of the Balearic tourism industry realise that the days of a small army of package holidaymakers coming to the Balearics appear to be ending.
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