by Staff Reporter
CAR hire firms were delighted to report that in August, more than 98 percent of their vehicles were hired, in contrast to the poor start to the season, when figures for June and July were 12 percent down on the previous year.

Ramón Reus, the chairman of AEVAB, the firms' business association, said that he expected figures for September and October to be positive to compensate for the start of the season which was “quite poor.” But he expressed a fear that the German market would drop again next season, and called for a campaign involving the entire tourist sector to try to find “alternative markets” so that the Balearics do not depend “too much” on the German market.

But despite the good results for August, Reus said that the car hire firms still had to adapt to demand, and could not take August as a reference point for stabilising the market.

He proposed a gradual reduction in the car hire fleet to the exact number required, as, having the fleet fully booked for one month of the year, does not justify having an “oversized” fleet parked for the rest of the year.

Reus also called on more investment to extend the tourist season and avoid “a complicated future.” He said that Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza should have two or three soccer pitches to attract football teams from the north of Europe.
Two golf courses are also needed in Minorca and Ibiza, and a congress hall on each island, to capture a bigger share of the congress and incentives market.

Reus also said that his association is still waiting for car hire firms which park their fleets illegally on rustic ground to be closed.
Although the city council has closed most of them there are still a few open which are breaking the law and providing unfair competition, he said.
He said that all firms wishing to operate in Majorca should pay their taxes and comply with the legal obligations.