By Humphrey Carter

BRITAIN'S leading tour operators want swift decisions taken and a government in place when businesses open for work on Monday for the sake of the Pound.

UK travel industry sources told the Bulletin last night that their primary concern is for the pound. “This summer is proving to be as troublesome, if not more so, than last year. “We took a pounding over the volcanic ash crisis which led to a 50 percent drop in bookings. “The market has picked up, but it is still seven percent down overall and if Britain does not have a government in place on Monday and no one properly in charge of the economy, the markets are going to get nervous and the pound is going to start sliding towards parity again. “Last week, it gained against the euro but neither us nor holdout makers and euro zones destinations such as Spain and the Balearics can afford to see the pound weaken at this stage of the game,” the Bulletin was told.

Yesterday, the Balearic Minister for Tourism, Joana Barcelo, said that she does not consider that the inconclusive results of the general election will have any affect on the summer season. However, the UK travel industry does not agree and the latest holiday sales figures for Spain and the Balearics are not very encouraging.

At the end of the week ending May 1, Balearic bookings were 11 percent down.
Turkey continues to be the top destination but it is starting to suffer from over booking.
But, that appears to be benefiting non euro zone destinations like Morocco and Tunisia as opposed to Spain and the Balearics and this is why the industry is worried about the political situation and wants to see some kind of solution reached and quickly. “The markets need confidence and stability, especially after the recession and the travel industry is having a complicated year again,” the Bulletin was told. And for Spanish destinations, apart from the Canaries, it's not looking too good.”


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