By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearic government said it would help bail out the hotel sector yesterday amid pleas from hoteliers complaining of poor bookings for this Easter.
Over the weekend President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Pere Cañellas, called on the government to launch promotional campaigns in April, May, June and then September and October to help boost bookings.

Pere Cañellas said that many of his members are worried about the lack of Easter bookings because the holiday falls so early this year, during the last two weeks of March.

Yesterday, Balearic Minister for Tourism Joan Flaquer, offered all the government help and co-operation necessary to help hoteliers drum up extra low season business and decentralise the summer season.

Flaquer said that the government's two primary objectives for the tourist industry are to improve turn over and extend the season.
He said that while Easter may be looking rather lean for the hotel sector, the outlook is good and come the end of the 2005, the tourism figures could well be better than last year.

Both the Ministry for Tourism and the hoteliers are confident of a significant revival in the British market.
However, summer may be looking good, as the Bulletin reported over Christmas, but there is concern about the effects of the early Easter.
In Ibiza and Formentera, for example hoteliers are considering not opening at all and waiting until the summer season starts.
Hotel federation chief Pedro Matutes said that with Easter being so early, some hoteliers do not believe it worth their while to open and either close again or remain open until the summer season really kicks off.

Not all of the Majorcan hotel sector opened for Easter last year and of those which did, many closed up immediately after the holiday and sat tight until summer season bookings picked up.

Matutes said that for many of his members, it is simply not financially viable to open for Easter and then close again.

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