By Humphrey Carter

THE Balearic President, Francesc Antich, yesterday announced that the government is to immediately pump an extra 3.6 million euros into the Ministry for Tourism to fund “immediate” advertising campaigns in the region's key markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany.

No less than 24 hours after the Balearic Minister for Tourism, Miguel Nadal, repeated his plea for more funding for tourism promotion, Antich arrived at the ITB Berlin trade fair and, to mark Balearic Day, unveiled the emergency funding.

Hit by the economic crisis, the Balearic delegation to the Berlin travel fair has been receiving mixed messages regarding the state of the German holiday industry. Shorter, closer, cheaper will be the trend for 2009, the German national tourist board has said, expecting overnight stays in Europe's biggest economy to fall 2 percent this year. The main German tour operators have also announced significant reductions in flight seats and package holidays, although this is apparently not going to mean there will not be enough holidays or aircraft seats for Germans wishing to come to the Balearics. That said, Nadal has made it clear all week that he needs more money to launch another major advertising push in Germany and the UK.

The new television advertising campaign featuring the world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal has just gone to air in Germany and the focus will switch to the UK as soon as the Berlin fair ends this weekend.

Nadal said yesterday that he is “moderately optimistic” that the Balearics will continue to appeal to Germans this summer.
Of the ten million which come to Spain, four million come here. But, while the British are determined to go on holiday this summer- the only question being where - as the German Tourist Board has revealed - many Germans may decide to holiday closer to home.

Other German market reports have also revealed that Germans have yet to decide if they are going to even take a summer holiday this year.