Staff Reporter
MANAGING director of the Balearic Institute for Tourism (Ibatur), Juan Carlos Alía, called on “complementary offer” businesses on the Islands (bars, cafés, restaurants and leisure industry), to moderate their prices during Easter week, pointing out that “many tourists complain” about excessive charges. Alía emphasised that his intention was not “to sound a warning note to complementary offer businesses” but to draw attention to the fact that amongst the most consistent complaints made by visitors to the Islands, were the prices they had to pay for services away from the hotel in which they were staying. “We must try to make sure that this issue doesn't become a focus for further complaint, and I have faith in the professionalism that has always been the hallmark of this sector. Speaking from the government platform, we cannot interfere in pricing, although we can act in an advisory capacity if cost and quality fail to match each other,” he signalled. Alía said that “very probably”, the significant growth in the hotel industry of the “all-inclusive” package holiday, where clients' food and drink is built in to the total price of the deal, is a direct response to the high charges experienced by visitors in complementary offer services. Tourists also want to know in advance what they are going to have to pay out during their holiday period. Joan Flaquer, Balearic minister for Tourism, has recently warned the industry against “demonising” the “all-inclusive” holiday. The minister stated that if the Balearic Islands fail to offer such a package, clients will simply go elsewhere to find it. The managing director specified that the Balearic government will continue to keep a watch on the “allinclusive” holiday package during Easter week “with the aim of ensuring that what is offered to the visitor meets required quality standards”. Alía ventured that the outlook for Easter week “is good and hotels will be between 70 and 80 percent full, not only with foreign tourists and Spaniards from the Peninsula, but with Majorcans who are going to sample hotels on home territory”. “The amount of hotels which will be open for business at this time of year exceeds the numbers for the same period in 2003”, said Alía.

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