GERMAN Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his wife flew into Palma yesterday at the start of a summer holiday on the island on board separate flights. Schroeder, still deeply effected by the Concorde crash, landed at the Son Sant Joan military base yesterday afternoon at 15.20 while his wife, Doris Schroeder-Koef, flew into the commercial airport on a scheduled flight from Germany. Schroeder flew into the island straight from a memorial service for the crash victims in Hannover. The Chancellor collected his wife from Palma airport before heading off to an undisclosed location. The Chancellor's summer holiday in Majorca, during which he will be dining with the Spanish royal family at Marivent Palace, has been seen by the German tourist industry as a much needed boost to a flagging Majorcan market this summer. Last year the Chancellor and his wife holidayed in Italy, but this year the Chancellor will be spending his summer break at a private villa which is thought to be in the are of Santa Maria. Schroeder last visited the island in 1998, before being elected Chancellor and visited the north of the island which he described as enchanting. Schroeder's holiday shows that nothing can hold Germans back from indulging a passion for travel which they have unrivalled leisure time and cash to indulge. Even the deaths of 96 nationals on board Air France's doomed Concorde airliner is not expected to derail a summer 2000 holiday season set to prove once again that Germans lead the world in travel. We've never experienced any negative impact from such incidents, said Melanie Schacher of the Frankfurt-based Federation of German Travel Agents and Tour Operators (DRV), confident this year's holiday sales would not be damaged. Ulrich Reinhardt, analyst at the Hamburg-based BAT Leisure Research Institute, said there was no sign that Europe's richest nation was ready to dump its long-held belief that long, lavish holidays were one of their major priorities.
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