MICHAEL Frenzel, chairman of the board of German tour operator TUI, yesterday called on Balearic hoteliers and travel agencies to improve the relationship between quality and price to fight off competition from countries such as Turkey.
The demand was backed by the director generals of the Briitish, West and Central European division, who would also like to see an increase in the all inclusive sector.
They were speaking at a meeting with the local tourist sector at the Pueblo Español.
Balearic tourism chief Joan Flaquer replied that price could no longer be an added bonus for the Balearics in its offer as a holiday destination. But this did not convince TUI, and Peter Rothwell, its director general for the United Kingdom, pointed out that the exchange rate between the pound sterling and the euro makes the Balearics 13 percent dearer.
Frenzel said that the good news was that the market was growing, and TUI is expected to bring eight percent more Germans to the Balearics than last year. But, he stressed, there is a lot of competition, which makes the balance between price and quality all the more important.
And, he said, the British market is showing no signs of recovering.
However, he did praise the Balearic government's tourism promotional campaigns, which have done a lot to restore confidence in Germany, and the amenities offered to tourists in the islands.
Flaquer repeated the government's position on the all inclusive hotels. He said that many tourists decided that this was what they wanted before choosing their destination, so it is important for the Balearics to have this type of establishment, but with quality control.
Time and time again, the representatives of the German giant spoke of the growth in popularity of Turkey as a direct competitor of the Balearics, thanks to the development of its amenities and its lower prices.
Surveys showed that customer satisfaction was running at 80 pecent for Turkey in the quality/price department, with Greece, Tunisia and Bulgaria hot on its heels. But the Balearics were only half way down the list, ahead of the Canary Islands, Morocco, Egypt and Italy.
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