By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearics and Germany are going to work hand-in-hand to recover the thousands of lost German visitors.
Balearic President, Jaume Matas, yesterday held talks in Palma with Ernst Hinsken, chairman of the German Tourism Committee as well as a delegation of German MP's and representatives from the country's two leading airlines, LTU and Air Berlin. Ernst Hinsken described the meeting as “extremely positive” and Balearic Tourism Minister Juan Flaquer said that the local government and the German holiday industry “are going to make a huge joint effort to revive the German holiday industry to the Balearics.” Ernst Hinsken said that he wants to see “more Germans coming to the Balearics” but he did point out that, in general, 52 percent less Germans took a summer holiday this year. However, this year, there has been an increase in the number of Germans coming to the Balearics. Hinsken claims that since the start of the year, there has been a six percent increase. 1.1750.000 Germans have come to the Balearics so far and Hinsken said that in August, German holidaymakers accounted for 10 million bed nights. He also hailed the decisions by the local government to scrap the tourist tax. He said that it would have only prevented further growth in the industry. Hinsken added that the Balearics without the tax, will now be able to be much more competitive, especially against those destinations which have also been working hard to attract German tourism, such as Turkey and Bulgaria at the expense of, not only the Balearics, but also Tunisia and Egypt where security is the main concern for Germans. But, Hinsken believes that new president Jaume Matas will also help tourism and has invited Matas to Germany to promote the Balearics. He said that Matas can help to create a “more positive future” for the Balearic tourist industry. The German economy does however need to turn the corner. “The current situation is catastrophic,” Ernst Hinsken said. But he is confident that the reforms recently announced by the German government, will help to turn things around and get the public travelling again. “We (Germany) used to be the driving force of Europe but now we're in the back seat.... “Spain has functioned better than Germany and met all the economic criteria,” he added.


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