Palma.—The Ministry for Tourism does not know how lucky it is.
Having done nothing to promote the Balearics in the UK, or any other of the major markets this year, demand for package holidays in the region is already well up on this time last year.

Up by 30 percent
And, considering that October and November are not usually strong summer holiday bookings months, demand is only going to increase, according to British holiday market sources.

The total package holiday market is up by 30 percent year-on-year with the Balearics up by five percent.
However, island to island, the rise in holidays sales varies from plus four percent to plus 13 in the case of Minorca. Many parts of the trade are reporting that bookings for next summer are already up year-on-year, with a number of consortia citing double-digit growth.

Advantage chief executive John McEwan said forward bookings were already looking “very good”, with sales for summer 2013 up in excess of 10 per cent year-on-year. “There are some general signs that things are improving a bit with the economy, the number of people unemployed is declining and together with low inflation I think it's all having an impact in encouraging people to book,” McEwan said.

Strong Pound
The strong Pound is serving to fuel demand for euro zone holidays, the sale of short and mid haul holidays are up on last year while long haul has taken a dive, primarily because of the controversial Air Passenger Duty and the Euro is forecast to remain weak well into next year as the euro economy worsens.

Midcounties Co-operative Travel's Alistair Rowland, group general manager of travel, also said sales were up: “Like for like, we are up 10 percent for summer trading and 5 percent on winter bookings,” he said.

Travel Counsellors has reported a 6% rise in bookings for summer 2013, while winter season sales during October were up 11 percent.
Managing director Steve Byrne said overall, the company had seen “extremely positive sales over the past few months”.