I am always rather sceptical when I see reports of a record summer season with visitor numbers reaching a record high. I must admit that I have been rather surprised at how quiet and deserted some parts of the island are at the moment even though it is peak season. Now, I do not want to ruin the party because we need a good summer season but I think it is too early to talk of a record season because there are still key months to come including the second half of August and of course September. Hotels are not 100 per cent full: their occupancy level is in the high 90s, but talk of hotel overbooking at the start of the season have proved wrong.
I have been talking to some business owners in resorts who say that the spending power of tourists leaves a lot to be desired and the growth of all-inclusive package holidays means that the bar and restaurant businesses in resort continue to suffer. So what is a record season? Well the record season at the moment is record visitor numbers but of course a fantastic summer season is not just a case of visitor numbers. It is about spending, profitability of local firms and of course the season lasting well into November. So I will be keeping the champagne on ice for now. For me a record tourist season is one which starts in March and ends in November. For me a record summer season is one that sees new long-term jobs being created and the satisfaction level of tourists being very high. If all the points I have mentioned above are met then I will call it a record season.