Followingin the wake of last week's MORI survey of British package holiday makers for the Association of British Travel Agents, ABTA, leading tour operators and consumer organisations are publishing the results of their own summer market research. According to the United Kingdom's leading tour operator Thomson, which was bought by the German company Preussag which owns tour operator TUI this summer, the number of German tourists holidaying with the tour operator in Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza this year has fallen sharply. But according to Thomson the number of British visitors to Majorca has remained steady in comparison to 1999, mirroring the overall picture which has seen an increase in the number of Britons visiting Majorca this year. The only island which has suffered on the UK market as far as Thomson is concerned is Ibiza. Their British market witnessed a 7 percent decrease this summer and the tour operator claims that Ibiza is suffering from “negative publicity” generated by its wild party image. Thomson released the figures at the annual ABTA convention which this year is being held in Greece, on the island of Kos, which ironically is one of the Mediterranean destinations where the tourist industry has enjoyed a revival this summer. However, while the Germans have turned their backs on Majorca and the Balearics on the whole, mainly because of the negative image the region received in the German media, the British are staying loyal to the islands. The number of British package holidays with Thomson to Turkey dropped by 27 percent because of terrorism threats and the aftermath of the earthquakes. The Caribbean is also suffering because of the poor exchange rates caused by the strong Dollar.


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