By Humphrey Carter
BALEARIC hoteliers admitted yesterday that the Easter break did not turn out to be as busy as predicted because of the weather.
In the Balearics, only in Majorca are hoteliers claiming that occupancy was the same as last Easter, and overall, bookings have been described as “average.” With 65 percent of hotels open in Majorca, occupancy was 70 percent. In Ibiza occupancy was 85 percent, but only 27 of the island's 400 hotels bothered to open. The Spanish Hostelry Federation said yesterday that Easter business was very irregular, with some regions doing better than others.
The Federation said yesterday that the bad weather and March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid made people think twice about going away.
However, restaurants, bars, cafes and discos have enjoyed a busy Easter, despite the “mediocre” reports from hotels, because many Spaniard stayed at home. The M-11 attacks either forced Spaniards to stay at home or holiday closer to home, while holiday home owners from overseas were not deterred by recent terrorist activities in Spain. But, while the weather hit the sunshine resorts, Spain's ski industry enjoyed a busy Easter with a record number of people heading to the mountains to catch the last snow of the season. But while the weather put a damper on things in the Balearics, Valencia and Murcia, the Canary Islands, Galicia and Andalucia enjoyed a good Easter period. The weather played havoc with the Davis Cup tennis in Palma, forcing Saturday's doubles to be postponed while few of the sunseekers who had come to the Balearics for some Easter sun did not manage to get near the beach until yesterday. Where the unexpected shortfall in bookings occurred remains to be seen.
The British market was as solid as ever with a record number of 2.1 million Britons spending Easter overseas and Majorca, as ever, was one of the top destinations. Last week flights to and from Palma were at a premium.
Now the hotel sector has its sights set on the summer season.
Those which have not opened for Easter will slowly start getting ready for summer, with everyone hoping that the forecast rise in tourism will prove to be correct after this Easter's deception. Some of the beach resorts in Majorca will have to endure a sharp drop off on business between now and the start of the summer while hotels in and around Palma are slightly busier than usual for this time of year.

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