by Staff Reporter
HOTEL chains and individual operators in the Balearics are further commercialising the tourist accommodation industry by offering “all inclusive” deals. This is being instigated to offset the rising prices of bars, cafés and restaurants in the immediate vicinities of the hotels, who by means of this deal, hope to keep as many guests as possible within their own walls. The Hotel Federation of Majorca and the Association of Hotel Chains confirmed a “light increase” on the Islands in the demand for this type of package and the need for a restructuring of services available in order to meet it. In fact, the Hoteliers' Association of the Bay of Palma has announced that some 3'000 hotel beds (out of a total of 40'000) in the area are now marketed using the “all inclusive” deal. Last year's holiday season witnessed hardly 2'000 beds falling into this category. In any event, leaders in the hotel industry believe that this development is only for the moment and will level off over the next few seasons. RIU Hotels, for example, began the alternative of an “all inclusive” deal two years ago in its tourist complexes Club Hotel Riu Tropicana and Club Hotel Riu Romántica, both located in the area of Calas de Mallorca, and from June at the Hotel Riu Sofía, in the Bay of Palma. The chain confirmed that their clients have responded “correctly” to the new package on offer and that their administration is studying exporting it to other establishments during the next tourist season. The Barceló Group offers an “all inclusive” option at one of its hotel complexes on Minorca and at the Hotel Cala Vinyes.
Iberostar Hotels have the same arrangement in place at the Iberostar Carolina at Capdepere, and at the Club Cala Barca in Santanyí.
Other chains marketing their tourist accommodation placings on Majorca are THB Hotels, MAC Hotels, Viva Hotels, Esperanza Hotels, and BQ Hotels.
In spite of the change of commercial tactics used by some hoteliers in offering the “all inclusive” deal in their establishments, the package is still in the minority when viewed in the context of total tourist visits to the Islands. Leaders in the hotel industry believe that the trend will peak over the next few seasons because those hotels offering the “all inclusive” option don't have the necessary infrastructure or space to cope with major growth in this area. In fact, the tour operator Thomas Cook currently has 12 hotels in the Balearics with an “all inclusive” option advertised in its trade magazine “Thomas Cook Reisen y Neckermann”; TUI on the other hand confirmed that their percentage of hotel placings offering the same alternative doesn't reach double figures. It is the view of some enterprises, however, that the change in an attempt to capture another section of the market through the introduction of “all inclusive” deals is seen as a means of helping to ensure market quotas in family tourism against a background of rising prices in bars, cafeterias and restaurants in the tourist areas. These complimentary services are precisely those that are threatened by the introduction of the “all inclusive” option on Majorca, above all in areas such as the Bay of Palma where food, beverage and entertainment industries depend heavily on tourist patronage. Some hoteliers have commented that it is for this reason that some complementary service organisations, such as clubs or water theme parks are starting to lower their prices.