Palma.—British tour operators and the Balearic tourist industry breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday after the coach strike planned for this coming weekend was finally called off.

However, a certain amount of damage has already been done by the mere threat of the strike making headline news across Europe and the Balearic hotel federations said yesterday that they are going to be working hard on limiting the damage which has been done and recuperating those holiday makers who decided to cancel instead of run the gauntlet of a two-day coach strike.

The board of arbitration managed to get both sides of the dispute to agree to extending the current contracts for another year and a one percent pay increase.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the deal and that the strike, which would have involved some 3'000 drivers and affected the best part of half a million holiday makers, has been averted.

The President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Inma Benito, also embraced the news but warned that all the hotel industry can hope for now is a surge in last minute bookings to repair the damage the threat of industrial action has caused over the past few weeks. “Hopefully, we can get on with the summer season with no more interruptions, although we still have to get ready for the increase in VAT on September 1 and there is nothing we can do about that,” Benito said yesterday.

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