THE collapse of UK tour operator XL Leisure could result in thousands of empty holiday beds across the Balearics next summer.
Travel industry bosses claim that the surplus capacity would normally be swallowed up by other operators, but the UK's two major firms have already contracted for 2009.
In extreme cases this could leave whole hotels without any advance bookings because 100 per cent of capacity had been committed to XL brands. The big two are focusing on margin, not volume. They are already committed to contracting next year. In days gone by, the XL Leisure Group failure would have led to a fight for the extra beds, said Majorca travel agent Adam Evans. However, nobody wants to over-commit themselves because of the current financial uncertainty. It will be interesting to see how the affected hotels sell the beds, he said.
The main areas hit by XL's demise are likely to be Palma Nova and Calas de Mallorca, where the firm were the sole tour operator in a number of resort hotels.