by Staff Reporter
HOTELS in the Playa de Palma registered an average occupancy rating of 91.82 percent during the month of August. According to Jordi Cabrer, president of the locality's Hoteliers' Association, this figure is 8 decimal points higher than the same period last year. Cabrer explained that the Association had drawn on data provided by 57 hotels in the area, offering a total of 18'772 beds. This figure represents 48.13 percent of the total number of beds in the Playa de Palma. He acknowledged that the high occupancy levels enjoyed in August were owed, in part, to cut-price offers made by more than half of the establishments.
Thirty-four percent of tourists staying in the area last month were German, only half the amount of previous years.
Cabrer attributed these figures to the economic crisis that has been raging in Germany.
With everything taken into consideration, he was confident that the Playa de Palma “doesn't have to depend so much” on a single client market, because even though there has been a decline in the number of German visitors, tourists from other countries have been on the increase. Italians, for example, made up 10 percent of the total number of clients, the French eight percent, the Dutch six percent, the Belgians four percent, and Spain's homegrown tourists went to make up 23 percent of the total. According to the report released by the Association, 53 percent of hotel beds were booked due to cut-price offers being made.
This marketing tactic triggered holiday sales to fill previously empty rooms.
Cabrer was furthermore of the opinion that this year “would go down in history as one of the shortest holiday seasons on record” due to the fact it began late, that many cut-price offers were made in July and low occupancy levels were widespread. For the current month of September, reservations are standing at some 66.21 percent of total capacity, six decimal points more than last year.
Cabrer gave encouragement, however, that the next few weeks will witness a market recovery, pushing figures towards the 80 percent “optimum”.
The Playa de Palma Hoteliers' Association aims to increase profitability by means of a promotional campaign focussing on alternatives to traditional “sun, sea and sand” holidays. Examples would include sporting, gastronomic or hunting excursions with an emphasis on cultural exploration and natural habitat. Improving the area's image in the face of competition would also be high on the agenda. Thus, this September sees the launch of a campaign to attract yet more business to the area, and which is planned to feature in 15 trade exhibitions during the 2003-2004 season.

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