Palma.—Bookings for peak season are said to be “excellent” but that has not stopped the Spanish Confederation for Hotels and Tourism Accommodation (CEHAT) from ordering central and regional governments to start taking the tourist industry seriously and pulling out all the stops to provide the industry with as much assistance as possible.

The President of the Confederation, Juan Molas, yesterday called on the authorities to come up with a viable tourism strategy “once and for all” as Madrid continues to drag its feet over drawing up the new Tourism Law.

Tough season
The Balearic and Spanish tourism sectors know that they are facing a tough season.
After a healthy start to the year sales wise, demand in key markets such as the UK and Germany have flat lined over the past few months, forcing many hotel chains to start flooding the main client markets with special offers.

As a whole, the industry does not think that the Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championships will have a negative affect on the tourist industry, however, the concerns are coming from within.

Apart from the 15 percent hike in airport taxes, the industry feels that the new Partido Popular centre right government is not taking the tourist industry seriously enough.

Molas, with the full support of the Confederation, yesterday said that the central and regional administrations should be bending over backwards to help the tourist industry and start by examining tax breaks and reduction in IVA (VAT) - not putting taxes up.

The Confederation also feels let down by the lack of importance currently being given to the so called “illegal” accommodation market.
Financial losses
According to the Confederation's findings, there are at least 800'000 offers of illegal accommodation in Spain and that unfair competition is costing the industry a substantial amount of financial losses.

What started off looking like another record year, is now starting to look more complicated and challenging than expected and the industry wants help.

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