by Staff Reporter
GERMAN tour operators will market a new tourist product in Majorca next summer: hotel plus vouchers for restaurants, to complement the all inclusive offer and capture a larger share of the market, according to Dietmar Gunz, chairman of the FTI group.

The new product will include plane, plus bed and breakfast in a hotel and the possibility of vouchers for lunch or dinner in restaurants.
Gunz was speaking at the presentation of FTI's brochures for the 2004-05 winter season.
He said that negotiations had already started with local restaurant owners, and claimed that the system already worked in other countries such as Italy.

He added that FTI planned to introduce it in Majorca next summer, “as we believe it could be another option to the all inclusive and capture a large segment of the tourist market who feel that the complementary offer outside the hotel is expensive.” Ganz said that the “sun and sand” model was not in crisis in Majorca, it was just a question of products. “The consumer cannot afford certain prices and so opts to make the most of his holidays and searches for all the products in the market.” He added that this explains why the all inclusive packet has become so popular and he maintained that “it will continue to grow during the summer over the next few years.” The same will not be true of the winter, he said, because the low season tourist prefers to leave the hotel to enjoy the complementary offer.
Both FTI, as well as the other German groups such as TUI, Thomas Cook and Alltours, believe that the number of German visitors to the Balearics will grow between four and seven percent a year “although we cannot say what percentage will correspond to packages, individual or residential tourism.” FTI is aiming to convert the winter season into its summer season “because we believe in Majorca's potential as a low season holiday destination, providing the right product is offered.” Ganz said that they had contracted 45 hotels in Majorca this winter. He added that the island could be marketed in the low season because of the quality of the complementary offer and services, but the hoteliers have to go for it.

As to promotion, Ganz said that the Balearic government should make an effort as everyone wins if the season is extended.
But the central environment minister Cristina Narbona made a harsh diagnosis of the future of tourism in Spain, claiming that the model of sun and sand is on the way out, as a result of Spain gradually losing the capacity to compete.

She also complained that the economic growth of Spain had been centred exclusively on tourism and construction for years.
She was speaking at a seminar on sustainable development.


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