Hoteliers and the government have agreed to carry on talking.

The tourist industry remains on the edge of its seat this morning after last night's meeting between the Balearic government and the hotel sector failed to solve the burning issue over the tourist tax's introduction or future. President Antich and Balearic Tourism Minister Celesti Alomar, spent over three hours locked in talks with the chairmen of the region's three hotel federations, but Antich emerged to say that neither party has changed its position, the government still wants the tax enforced on May 1. It appears that neither side will believe the conflicting sets of summer booking figures. The hoteliers were armed with the industry figures, indicating a dramatic slump in bookings, while Antich has Alomar's figures, which claim that bookings will match last summer. A commission has been set up to study the figures and what action to take once it has an accurate picture of the market. Antich however appeared upbeat about the hotel sector's willingness to talk and “ease” the tension. Chairman of tour operator Thomas Cook, Stefan Picher, said yesterday that bookings to the Balearics have been the worst hit in Spain, adding that the tourist tax will only reduce figures more.


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