BALEARIC hoteliers will be meeting their colleagues from the mainland over the next few days to analyse the Iraq crisis and the repercussions a Gulf war will have on the Spanish hotel industry. Tomorrow, Zontur, the association of Spanish resort hotels, holds its general assembly and the Iraq crisis will be topping the agenda. After an unsettled 2002 marked by a down turn in tourism and hotel guests in the Balearics, the outlook for 2003 is far from rosy with little sign of a pick up in tourism, with or without war in the Gulf. In Majorca, a significant number of resort hotel directors are not planning to re-open until occupancy levels make it viable. However, British tour operators are already starting to reduce hotel capacity in the Eastern Mediterranean ahead of the possible Gulf war and are also preparing to relocate clients to summer holiday destinations in the Western Mediterranean, such as the Balearics. A number of tour firms have reduced capacity in Turkey and Cyprus while offering clients who have already booked, the option to switch from an Eastern Mediterranean destination to one in the West or elsewhere at no extra cost. Egypt is also becoming a no go zone with insurance companies starting to up their premiums of aircraft flying to Egypt which is leading to a hike in air fares. Tour operators are also drawing up evacuation plans to get their clients out in the event of war. Pictures of troops in Cyprus, Turkey's need for NATO protection and tour operators preparing evacuation plans for Egypt are obviously making holidaymakers consider alternative destinations. With North Africa also suffering, the Balearics, mainland Spain and Italy could benefit. The association will also discuss the recent slow in hotel rate increases. Last month all regions, apart from the Balearics, reported nominal increases in hotel rates which was welcomed by Spain's Tourism amd Commerce Minister who has been urging hoteliers to opt for improving services and offering more value for money as opposed to pushing hotel prices up.