By Humphrey Carter
THE British are flocking to the Balearics at such a rapid rate that some of the hotels are over booked and can not cope with the late surge in demand and holidaymakers are having to be diverted to other resorts and hotels.

As the Bulletin reported this week, the Balearics is still the number one summer package holiday destination in Britain this year and there has been a sudden rise in bookings of around five percent.

Coupled will a late pick up in holiday sales in Germany and other key satellite markets, in particular Italy and on mainland Spain, there are going to very few hotel vacancies in Majorca for the rest of this month.

President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Pere Cañellas, says that for the first two weeks of August, hotel occupancy is running at 99 percent and, with the British and Germans still booking, a similar figure is expected for the last two weeks of the month.

However, over booking on behalf of hoteliers and tour operators has led to some holidaymakers being diverted to different resorts and hotels.
But, the tour operators and hotel federation say that they have the situation well under control and that, with holidays being bought so late this year, over booking has been unavoidable.

Furthermore, this year has seen a simultaneous boom in late bookings in all the key markets which has also put added pressure on the Majorcan hotel sector.

The area worst effected are Alcudia, Pollensa, Cala Ratjada, Cala Millor and Peguera.
The Minister for Tourism is closely monitoring the situation while its inspectors are keeping a close eye on the illegal accommodation sector.
Sources for the ministry have said that the department is confident that the hoteliers and tour operators will be bale to handle the situation, otherwise they could face claims for compensation from unhappy clients.

This year, however, the numbers being relocated ate not as large as last summer.
Groups as large as 60 were being diverted last summer, this year the incidents are more isolated.
This summer also differs to last because the late bookers have not cashed in on the same kinds of savings as last year.
The dreaded summer price war never ignited in the United Kingdom and the vast majority of holidaymakers coming this month have paid brochure prices for their summer sun.

As a result, this August will prove to be more lucrative for the hotel sector, although many are still concerned over having to rely on just a four-week season as the rest of the season, so far, has been poor, especially for resort businesses in general.


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