It's official: fewer holidaymakers will be coming to the Balearics this summer. Official figures being quoted yesterday by the Hoteliers Federation said that Balearic hotels would enjoy an occupancy level of 80 percent, a considerable drop on last year. As both International Federation of Tour Operators President Martin Brackenbury and Airtours Chairman David Crossland said in the Bulletin earlier this year, the spectacular growth in the industry last year was caused by the Kosovo conflict which meant that fewer people holidayed in Greece and Turkey. A spokesperson for a major British holiday firm said yesterday “both these countries are now firing on all cylinders as regards tourists. We must forget 1999. It was a special year for special reasons. It is better to compare this year's season with 1998,” said Pedro Cañellas of the Tour Operators Federation. He said that the strength of the pound and the growing number of British people who wanted a holiday abroad meant that it would be a good year for British tourism. “I think we can expect a sizeable increase,” he said. But Cañellas said that the German market, on the other hand, had reached its peak and he didn't see a sizeable growth. He said that all package holidays being sold at the moment were at brochure prices and so far tour operators had not been forced to introduce special offers. But while the summer season has not even started hoteliers have already signed contracts for next winter (2000-2001). Prices will increase by about three percent, the level of inflation. An interesting point is that at no time have hoteliers added any additional costs because of the tourist tax which is expected to be introduced next summer.


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