BALEARIC tourism chief Joan Flaquer dismissed the repercussions of the new offer announced on Monday by German tour operator FTI (bed and breakfast plus vouchers for meals in local restaurants), because it is not being contemplated for 2005 by the leading tour operators nor the biggest hotel chains in the Balearics. He went on to say at the moment, we are unaware of this possibility, but the feeling is that it will not be very widespread. He described the announcement as a probe but said that the Balearic government will study the initiative to determine if it complies with legislation on tourism and criteria of quality.
He did not rule out the possibility of this type of offer being introduced, if there is a demand for it.
We must adapt to the needs of demand, without losing sight of quality and tourist legislation, he concluded.
At the same time he welcomed figures released yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics, which said that the number of nights spent in hotels in the Balearics last month was up 1.2 percent over last July, and the islands were the region with the highest hotel occupancy (83 percent). We have done a good job in promoting the islands, and the fruits are now being seen, Flaquer pointed out.
He went on to say that the summer months had gone well for the Balearic tourist industry but now it had to be seen if the season could be stretched to September or October.
He described as unfortunate the comments made by central environment minister Cristina Narbona, who, as reported in yesterday's Bulletin, said that sun and sand tourism was on the way out.
He said he believed that Narbona was unaware of the real situation of tourism in the Balearics and Spain where the sun and sand offer represents 80 percent of the sector. We are concerned that Narbona should insist in making comments along these lines, which we do not share, because it creates a bad image in the foreign markets, he said yesterday.
He admitted, however, that the Balearic tourist model does need corrections, but it is by no means exhausted. His department is currently seeking ways to extend the season into the winter months.
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