The buzz word is sadly cancellations as opposed to holiday reservations. | PILAR PELLICER

The Balearic tourist industry is braced for another challenging year and is, for the time being, not holding out on a massive return of foreign tourists, in particular from the two main source markets, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Yes there is a lot of excitement about direct flights from Palma to New York over the summer, but they are hardly going to save the season.

What was telling this week was the announcement by Balearic hoteliers that they are going to embark on a massive campaign to try and woo the domestic Spanish market - again.
Key to this is going to be prices being slashed by as much as 50 percent and, to be honest, in order to get visitors from the mainland flocking to the Balearics, prices do have to be cut and drastically.

Many of my friends on the mainland used to always come over to the Balearics every year.
Now they are married, have families and they gave up coming many years ago, they simply could not afford to come, so they all take their families to the Canary Islands instead.
And it is not just hotels. A friend of mine spent Christmas in Paris and she could not believe how cheap eating out was compared to Palma while I constantly hear from London that Palma is now charging London rates.

Price and health are going to be king more than ever this year, I just hope the Balearics can get the balance right or it could price itself out of the market.