Palma.— Industry associations governing tour operator activity in Great Britain and Germany, namely ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents) and DRV respectively were voicing concern yesterday over the knock-on effects of the general strike taking place tomorrow.

Their worries are being shared by airlines, the hostelry industry and private coach transport organisations servicing holiday-makers in the Balearics. As one ABTA representative said yesterday, “the eyes of Europe will be upon us.” “It's not simply the fact that there is a strike, but rather that it is taking place five days before the start of the Easter break and a month prior to the official onset of the holiday season. “We are hoping that such disruption doesn't become normal practice - industrial conflict in April and May could seriously hamper the tourist industry. Understandably, people will be put off making bookings here.” Bearing these concerns in mind, the Majorcan Tourist Board made an appeal yesterday to the workforce in the sector, calling on them to act responsibly and make sure minimum services run according to existing agreements with the government. “It's important the image of the Balearics is not damaged,” the Board said. However, this encouragement was insufficient to quell the fears of local hoteliers who are only too well aware that many reservations at this time of year are made at the last moment. “There's an excellent holiday season forecast but we can't afford even minimum disruption,” said one anxious hotelier yesterday.

Airlines are attempting to reschedule flights to avoid the worst of the strike.

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