Palma.—The British tourism industry issued a word of caution to the Spanish and Balearic tourist sectors yesterday, urging them to take a serious look at the current state of the UK market and a reality check as the Fitur tourism trade fair draws to a close in Madrid.

Since the fair opened on Tuesday, sources from the Spanish travel industry have been pumping out reports of a record year, increases in bookings of between 10 and 15 percent, tour operators wanting to expand their capacity in key resorts and the airport authority being hit with demands for 50 percent extra landing and take off slots here in the Balearics.

However, according to the UK side of the industry, the situation is slightly different and not as buoyant.
Hugh Morgan, the Managing Director of the Monarch Travel Group, spent two days at the Fitur fair and was forced to admit yesterday it was one of the quietest he has attended in many years. “The affects of the financial cuts were clear and I didn't feel that enthusiasm the press releases have been reporting. “The latest year-on-year market figures show that UK package holiday sales are down six percent across the board. Spain is down two percent, Majorca is on par with last year on zero, Ibiza is up four percent and Minorca up six . All of the Canary Islands, bar Lanzarote, are down on last year and the mainland is down five percent. So, where's the grounds for all the good cheer and claims of a record season? “We're not seeing it here in the UK which this year has the Jubilee, the European Championships and the Olympics and the Balearics needs to take these events in to account. Plus Easter is early. So I suggest the Balearics have a long hard look at the figures, they don't lie.”

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