THE majority of hotels in the Balearics are preparing to close their doors this year during the month of October. This is before the date that is usually set to bring the high tourist season to an end and is due to poor booking levels. The Hoteliers' Federation of Majorca has confirmed that 45 percent of tourist establishments will bring their closures forward as a result of reservations not exceeding 40 percent of capacity, nearly 15 points down on the same period last year. Not even out of season holidays for Spanish pensioners organized by Imserso will compensate for low booking rates, declared a Federation spokesman, Antoni Fuster, yesterday. Tourism organised by Imserso follows a set pattern. Although there is usually some delay at the start of the winter season, hotels who remain open to accommodate these package deals benefit a great deal from them, he explained. Imserso's 2003-2004 programme, organised by a consortium of travel agents under the umbrella of Mundo Social (Viajes Iberia, Viajes Halcón, Viajes Barceló and Viajes Marsans), forecasts that a total of 175'000 tourist pensioners will visit the Balearics between October this year and May of 2004.
On Majorca, 44 hotels will accommodate these special deals, 4 on Minora and 11 on Ibiza.