By Humphrey Carter
AFTER bad start, this summer's tourist season apparently ended much better that expected in fact according to the various sub-sectors of the local tourist industry, this has been the best summer for the past two years.

Balearic Tourism Minister Joan Flaquer, yesterday held talks with all the various tourism industries; travel agents, rural hotels, gold clubs, marinas, night clubs and the like, to discuss and finalise the new quality control programme.

On the whole, the holiday sector is “satisfied” with the outcome of the summer, president of the Majorcan Hotel federation, Pedro Cañellas, said “this summer proved to be much better than expected considering we started July with really low hotel bookings.” However, he said that most hotels reported a sudden surge in bookings between July 10 and 15 and that, since then, this has been the busiest summer for the past few years.

The rural hotel sectors has also had a good summer.
Ventura Rubí, head of the local rural tourism association, said that, while their season is slightly longer and has yet to finish, bookings have risen by 14 percent this year, mainly because of the growth in the domestic Spanish market.

Travel agents have enjoyed good business too.
The chairman of the Balearic Association of Travel Agents, Jaime Bauzá, said that summer turnover was between 3.5 and five percent up on summer last year.

As the Bulletin reported last week, the gold courses have enjoyed a good seasonm although there is room for further development and the market would like to see the authorities making a much greater effort to promote Majorca as a gold destination in the UK, the island's key market.

The island's large clubs and discos have enjoyed good business “very satisfactory,” said Pedro Vidal, president of the association of dance halls “obviously, once more people started arriving, we had more clients, but September proved to be one of the best months, much better that we had expected.” On the back of the better-than-expected summer, Joan Flaquer yesterday decided to launch the new quality tourism project.
The Minister said that 67 municipalities across the Balearics have signed up for the scheme which applies to the accommodation sector, the service sector and a series of “star products” in each area.

He said that the entire hotel sector is participating along with 350 restaurants, although by the start of next year, he expect to see the best part of 900 restaurants participating in the quality tourism scheme.

Participating businesses, providing they meet all the requirements, will receive the Institute for Quality Tourism (IQT) seal of approval which is to become the Balearics' new mark of quality.


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