Palma.—After a year of next to no cooperation or funding from the Spanish or Balearic Ministries for Tourism, the British tour operators are eager to hear what Manuel Butler, the Director of the Spanish Tourist Board, Turespaña, has to say to them over the next couple of weeks when he flies into London for talks with the main tour operators.

Hugh Morgan, the Managing Director of The Monarch Travel Group, yesterday received the UK package holiday figures for August and they failed to match last year.

The only destinations in Spain which have posted an increase in British tourism have been Minorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria while the rest were down on last year.

The overall UK package holiday market was down by seven percent at the end of August while figures for Spain, in general, were down three percent.
Hugh Morgan said that while Monarch has enjoyed a good summer and that the tour operator met all its forecasts, but obviously, others have struggled. “We can't complain but I know of many who are. We knew it was going to be a very late booking market but, despite the feel good factor generated by the Olympics, it did not translate into the bookings the market as a whole was expecting. “The two big destinations by a long shot were Tunisia and Morocco, but mainland Euro zone destinations, as the figures show, have struggled. Although, Greece has finally faired better than expected considering its troubles. “What has not helped is that this year, we've had no cooperation from Turespaña and the regional ministries for tourism especially here in the Balearics. “So, when we all sit down with Manuel Butler over the coming weeks, we are extremely interested to hear what Spain's strategy is going to be for next year, if there is one and we hope it's not all about walking to Santiago..... “There's been no promotion this year and no incentives for us to push Spain either. “What the tourist board and regional ministries have got to do is get us tour operators back on board. “Promotions do not have to be costly operations and we hope we don't get the ‘poor old Spain, we've got no money' treatment. “We've been hearing that all year but perhaps, if Spain began to realise that its most important industry is tourism and took is seriously, Spain, especially its main destinations, might begin to make some money again,” Morgan said. “I've recently been in Pollensa and that seems to have had a great summer and the arrival of David Cameron appears to have boosted people's spirits, but the Balearics need to do more than hope someone famous will turn up, they need to get proactive and start thinking about moving forward with our full cooperation,” he stressed.