By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE President of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, Juan Gual, yesterday proclaimed that the region's strong tourism industry will prevent the Balearic economy from falling into recession.

With local tourism industry chiefs preparing to head to London for next week's World Travel Market to test the market and discuss the outlook for summer 2009 with the leading UK tour operators, Gual admitted that the Balearic economy will probably grow by only 0.8 percent, in line with the regional government's forecast, but the latest data from the Balearic's main tourism markets indicate that few people are canceling or suspending their summer holidays and that the regions, in particular Majorca, remains one of Europe's most popular destinations.

The Bulletin recently reported that Britons, especially those who took the gamble on staying in the UK this summer, have already booked their summer holidays for next summer in sunshine-guaranteed destinations like the Balearics.

Gual said that he has received similar information from Germany and yesterday gave his “guarantee” that the Balearics will not fall into recession.
The Balearic tourist industry is going to be more active than ever at next week's World Travel market.

The trade fair, one of the most important in the world, will be the Balearic sector's first chance to really test the waters since the credit crunch hit Europe this summer.