By Humphrey Carter
THE Majorcan hotel industry is refusing to buckle under pressure from tour operators to drop their prices and wants the Balearic government to pump more money into promoting the island to help their cause. The Majorcan stand-off between the hotel sector and tour operators was the topic of conversation last night at the Majorcan Hotel Federation's annual gala dinner. Federation president, Pere Cañellas, used his annual address to unveil the hotel sector's new strategy and urged his members to stand-up to the tour operators which are already asking for hoteliers to start dropping their prices for summer 2004. “We can't afford to continue slashing prices if we are going to offer value for money and high quality services,” Cañellas said. “At the end of the day, only the tour operators benefit from our discounts,” he added. “Bargain package holidays do nothing for the hotel industry and nothing for the local economy,” he told over 700 guests.
However, he said that, if the Majorcan hotel sector really wants to succeed in taking on the tour operators, the industry has to be united and clear in its action. “There are new markets opening up and holiday habits are changing. We as an industry, need to examine the changes and move with them as opposed to waiting on the orders of the tour operators,” he said. “We need to show that we're professional business people and stop the rot in the travel sector by working hard to boost business off our own backs,” he added. “We've got the know-how, we've just not been using much of it lately.” But, Cañellas said that the sector will need Balearic government support and to start with, the government has to spend more money on promoting Majorca overseas. Cañellas also said that, if Majorca seriously intends to remain one of the world's leading and most competitive holiday destinations, more spending is needed on the island's infrastructure and creating new attractions for tourists, such as theme parks. “For example, Palma desperately needs a new convention centre,” he said.

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