This summer there are 8.000 less car hires on the road because of the fall in demand. Vice president of the Balearic hire car federation, Andreu Artigues, said yesterday that the car rental industry has noticed the drop in tourism and is feeling the pinch “like all other businesses involved with tourism.” Andreu Artigues also warned that the eight days of industrial action planned by 60.000 service sector employees will cause serious damage to the Balearics. Artigues said that the situation this summer is so dire that the proposed increases in rates at the start of the year, have been shelved. “We agreed on a very slight increase to cover the rise in operating costs, but because of the poor season and fall in demand, we've reverted back to last year's prices,” he said. Many of the small independent car rental/foreign exchange businesses have been forced to close. The introduction of the single currency at the start of the year, forced many out of business and now the continuing lack of car rental business is proving too much.

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