Palma.—With the air traffic controllers threatening industrial action because of a lack of staff and the hostelry sector expected to push for a substantial pay rise, the Majorcan Hotel federation yesterday urged the new Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, to bring in tough new laws to prevent strike action that could seriously damage the tourist industry.

Borrego was in Palma yesterday for a round of talks with the tourist industry as a whole and the hoteliers repeated their plea for VAT to be cut to four percent for the sector, but it appears that central government is not in a position to make that move until it clears more of its deficit and gets the green light from Brussels.

The Federation also pressed Borrego on the issue of the local administrations, business and commercial sectors having a role in the management of the region's airports. Federation president, Inma de Bonito, explained that the Balearics knows what is best for its airports, especially during the low season and much more could be done towards decentralising the summer tourist season if the region had a say in how its airports were managed. Borrego did, however, agree to a major marketing campaign to promote the Serra Tramuntana, now a UNESCO natural heritage site overseas as an all year round attraction.