THE Balearic Minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer, has returned from his trip to Poland and Hungary defiant that he will not buckle under pressure from the large tour firms. Yesterday he said that despite the warning from leading UK tour operator First Choice that the Balearics needs to diversify its industry and that Ibiza will suffer a drop in tourism this season, he is not worried and will wait until the season is over before reaching any conclusions. Flaquer said that, over the past two years, tourism in general has changed a great deal making it very difficult to make predictions about how the season will perform, primarily because more people are booking later, said Flaquer. Nevertheless, First Choice advised the Costa del Sol to get its act together a few years back, it failed to respond, and, for next year, the operator has axed the resort from its programme. However, Flaquer has returned from his fact finding mission to Poland and Hungary convinced that the ten in-coming EU member states will become key satellite markets for the Balearic holiday industry. The new member states will enable us to avoid being so dependent on certain markets, the minister said. The new member states will be able to access EU development funds which will create investment and enable the middle class to travel, he explained. Hence why the Balearics has been quick to target the incoming states and once the new members states have joined the EU on May 1, promotional campaigns will be launched in a bid to cash in on the new holiday markets.
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