MIGUEL Vicens, president of the Majorcan Tourism Board, spoke out against the draft bill which the Balearic tourism ministry is promoting to regulate “all inclusive” holidays. He said that this type of tourism, where everything is prepaid before the tourist arrives on the island, is “more efficiently controlled” by consumer organisations in the markets of origin or the tour operators, than by ministry inspectors. “They (the consumer organisations and tour operators) are faster and more efficient than a team of inspectors from the ministry,” he claimed.
He also said that the central and regional governments should spend more money promoting the Balearics, so that the islands can compete in better conditions with their chief competitors such as Turkey.

Vicens said that the recent tourism fair in Berlin had shown that the predicted increase in the number of German visitors can be attributed to the “spectacular growth” of the corner of the market which demands the all inclusive service.

This, he said, has allowed “the island to compete on an equal footing with other destinations offering the same service.” But while he was opposed to the new bill regulating the sector, he said the all inclusive sector should continue to be developed, otherwise there would be a drop in the number of visitors. “If there is a demand, we must provide the offer, otherwise others will do so and we will lose clients. It is the client who demands it and we have to offer what he asks for,” he stressed.

Vicencs claimed that the all inclusive is one of the chief causes for the increase in the number of tourists, together with the “major recovery” of the island's image (after what he called the “absurd discussions” of two years ago), and the maintenance of the prices of package holidays.

Antoni Mas, president of the Majorcan restaurant owners association, said that he hoped hotels would try to offer an “all inclusive” package of greater quality, offering not only the basic services of food and drink but sporting and cultural events as well.

He added that he hoped the hotel sector would try to rationalise and be stricter in the all inclusive, as last year, “it left a lot to be desired.” He admitted that the Balearics could not ignore this type of offer, but stressed that it “should be something more than just food and drink.”

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