HOTELS on Majorca's Playa de Palma were 87.10 percent full in July this year, 6.03 percent more than the same period in 2003.
The figures were the results of a study carried out by the Playa de Palma Hoteliers' Association and presented by its president, Jordi Cabrer yesterday.
Research had been conducted in 72 tourist establishments, representing 51.4 percent of the total number of hotels in the area.
Cabrer also signalled that the forecast for the first fortnight of August is for hotel occupany levels to reach 91.32 percent.
If the August forecasts prove correct, he said, some establishments on the Playa de Palma will reach occupancy levels of 99.9 percent. He warned, however, that as of 22 August, business will start to tail off slightly in comparison with the boom of the preceding 3 weeks.
Nevertheless, Cabrer gave assurances that in spite of the near 100 percent capacity reached by some hotels, there will be no problems of overbooking.
Making reference to the report on July hotel occupancy levels, he commented that 87.10 percent is higher than the same month in the previous year, and also represents an increase of 8.09 percent over and above figures for 2002. It remains lower, however, than the 93.68 percent registered in July, 2001.
Broken down into visitor nationality, Cabrer gave prominence to the fact that German clients dominate the Can Pastilla-Playa de Palma area where they make up 36 percent of the tourist headcount.
A combination of other countries including Austria, Switzerland and the former Eastern bloc countries account for a further 12 percent. Cabrer affirmed it is important to woo this latter group as it is made up of countries which have their own tourist markets, inevitably in competition with the Islands. Russia and the Czech Republic are emerging client markets for the Balearics said Cabrer, and the industry should work with the ministry of Tourism to focus attention on this new group, without neglecting the principal players, such as Germany.
Spanish tourists represented nine percent of the total number of visitors in Can Pastilla, and Cabrer pointed to the recuperation of client markets which had recently suffered losses, such as the Dutch (4%); France (11%); Belgium (3%); Italy (8%) and Great Britain (17%) although British tourists only made up three percent of the total visitors to the whole Playa de Palma.
By areas, the highest occupancy levels in July were recorded on the Playa de Palma with 89.05 percent; Arenal-Playa de Palma (88.53 percent); Can Pastilla (84.33 percent) and Arenal-Llucmajor, with 82.77 percent.
The majority of visitors to the Playa de Palma (61 percent); to Can Pastilla (36 percent); and Arenal-Playa de Palma (34 percent), came from Germany.
Looking ahead to the current month of August, the area with the best forecast for hotel occupancy levels in the first fortnight is the Playa de Palma with 92.91 percent; followed by Arenal-Playa de Palma (92.62 percetn); Can Pastilla (91.56 percent) and Arenal-Llucmajor with 85.8 percent, a figure 7.11 percent less than the Playa de Palma area.
In terms of reservations on the cards for September this year, Cabrer declared that as at today's date, more than 50 percent of place reservations had already been made, which in his opinion, may mean that by the end of next month, the occupancy levels of the Playa de Palma could reach 80 percent.
With regard to contracts with Tour Operators in line for 2005, Cabrer considers it is necessary to increase tourist package deal prices with a view to the coming year. Prices have been practically frozen for the past three years, he claimed. We hope to improve the hotel offer, but we need a commensurate concession on the part of the tour operators in terms of a price increase.