By Jason Moore
THE Spanish Tourist Office in London is concerned about the state of the British tourist market and fears that the credit crunch and the drop in the value of sterling against the euro will hit holidays bookings to Spain for this summer.

Ignacio Vasallo, Director of the Tourist Office, told the Bulletin this week that the situation was “grave” and the market conditions were probably the worse in the last six years.

Vasallo said that British tour firms had been trimming back their programmes to Spain and reducing the number of hotel beds they contract in the light of the market conditions. The Tourist Office director also said that they were also set to make quite big discounts on holidays with offers such as a “second child goes free” and other incentives. He said that this way was probably better than just discounting holiday prices. Vasallo said that the fall in the value of the pound was a major concern which would certainly hit British tourists in the pocket when they go on holiday. He said that his department was monitoring the situation and was in close contact with the British tour firms. Vasallo said that some parts of Spain were doing better than others. “The Balearics is doing better than other parts of Spain,” he said.

Vasallo´s assessment comes just after the British Assiciation of Travel Agents' warning that the Balearics had to be careful over pricing especially due to the weakness of sterling.

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