By Humphrey Carter THE Balearic government is pulling out all the stops to revive the local tourist industry but while new campaigns are being launched in Germany and the UK, Palma also intends to keep the home fires burning by boosting domestic tourism. Tourism Minister Joan Flaquer yesterday met representatives from the Spanish tour operators to discuss ways of strengthening the domestic market, especially during low season. Flaquer told the meeting that the domestic market is just as important to the Balearics as the British and German and has potential for further growth. Tourism director general Eduardo Gamero also attended the meeting to outline the Balearics' promotion ideas and discuss other means of “decentralising” the holiday season so that the Balearics is no longer dependent on summer tourism. “We've got to work together with the tour operators in order to break up the launching any campaigns now will have limited, if any, affect,” he said. “What we can and are doing instead is making sure that those tourists coming here this summer receive the best attention, that everything works, they are safe and that resorts are kept clean,” Flaquer said. “That way, they'll come back.” With regards to Monday's power failure, Flaquer said it was a “minor incident,” adding that all of the Balearic tourism offices overseas have been given assurances that everything is working as usual in the Balearics and that there are no causes for alarm. There was further good news for the Balearics, said Flaquer, with the announcement that Grupo Globalia, one of the country's largest travel tourist season,” Flaquer said. The minister added the Balearics will be looking at the long weekend, short-break market and also, in conjunction with tour operators, start offering special packages during the region's key fiestas during low season. However, Flaquer said that he is going to hold tight on launching any new campaign for the time being, “we're mid-way through the summer season, organisations, is to move its headquarters to the region “it's a major vote of confidence for the region.”

THE number of tourists visiting Spain this year is expected to be slightly higher than last year, although visitors will spend slightly less.
The results of a market study carried out for the body for tourism excellence, Exceltur, points to a 2.5 percent rise in tourists but an .02 percent fall in average spending. The vice-president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, said yesterday that for the period July-September, peak season, a 3.2 percent increase in tourism is forecast, primarily because of a surge in bookings in the British market, although the report states that the average amount of money being spent by British tourists this year is ten percent less than last summer. Figures for the German market are still poor, the number of German tourists was down 15 percent on last year for the period January to May.
Of the Balearics' main competitors, Croatia, Egypt, Italy and Morocco are enjoying mini-tourism booms, while Tunisia, Cyprus, France, Portugal and Turkey are struggling this summer.