Staff reporter
MORE and more Balearics residents are island hopping for holidays and short breaks while local travel agents have also reported a four percent increase in Balearics holiday sales on the mainland.

The association of Balearics travel agents, AVIBA, reported that between January and October of this year, there has been a marked rise in the number of visitors from the mainland while six per cent more Balearics residents have taken a holiday or short break on one of the neighbouring islands.

AVIBA president Jaume Bauzá presented the figures to Balearic president Jaume Matas yesterday during talks about the forthcoming Spanish travel agents federation congress Palma will be hosting later this month.

The convention between October 21 and 24 will, for the first time, “bring all the country's travel agents together,” he said.
As many as 400 travel agents are expected to attend the three-day convention which will be opened by Jaume Matas and attended by a number of key international tourism experts.

Jaume Bauzá added that the domestic travel market has helped significantly in keeping the Balearics tourist industry afloat over the past three years, during which time it has grown by 40 percent.

The domestic sector is now the Balearics' third most important feeder market.
Better flight connections has been a significant help and has also led to domestic visitors travelling to the Balearics throughout the year.
Jaume Bauzá brushed aside claims that travel agents are having to fight off the growing popularity and competition of on-line bookings.
He said that, to the contrary, the interest is helping travel agents promote their offers and services.

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