By Humphrey Carter
A week before the Balearics heads to the World Travel market in London in yet another bid to promote the region's new image, in particular all-year tourism and the new Palma 365 idea, the best part of 95 percent of Majorca's resort hotels will be closing up for the winter on Monday.

Monday marks the official end of the tourist season and the only hotels which will remain open, according to Pere Cañellas, president of the Majorca Hotel Federation, will be in Palma, Cala Mayor, the Playa de Palma and various areas of Calvia.

Cañellas said yesterday that it is usual for the hotels to close at the end of October, adding that the hotels which remain open during the winter are mainly catering for the Imserso subsidised old-age pension holidays and tourists not after a beach holiday.

He added that, despite this season having been a good one, with regards to hotel bookings, “hotels do not appear to have made any more money, in fact some have suffered a loss. “There appears to be a problem with the holiday market caused by there being too much on offer and hotels being forced to cut their prices to attract bookings,” he explained. “In order to maintain acceptable occupancy levels, we've had to make sacrifices this year, such as cutting prices and turning over less money,” he said. “If people will not come paying top rates, then we've got to continue dropping the prices until they do, ” he added. “But what we can't afford to do is lose our share of the market,” he stressed.
Cañellas said that, according to the latest report from the quality tourism body Exceltur, 44.5 percent of tourism industry businesses claim that profits are down on last year.

36.5 percent have posted an increase in profits, while 19 percent have said that there has been little or no change.
Cañellas yesterday travelled to Capdepera where the resort launched a new “FirstSun Mallorca” marketing campaign to promote a quality, friendly and hospitable resort.

Joan Massanet, president of the Capdepera Hotel Federation, said that the municipality is going to focus on family and youth tourism. He called on the local government and institutions to help their campaign by making sure that the resorts are clean, safe and that the environment is cared for.

Capdepera's decision to realign its tourist industry comes in response to the changing face of the holiday industry and the changing habits of holidaymakers.

More and more resorts are having to decide which markets they are going to target and cater for and make sure they offer the maximum quality facilities and services to their chosen market. Increasing competition in the Mediterranean means that resorts are having to become more specialised.


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