PALMA THE Playa de Palma will be the area with the highest number of tourists over the Easter period, with hotels expected to be around 80 per cent full, thanks mostly to Spanish and German tourism.

This is the same level of occupation which was recorded last year, in spite of the Easter holiday falling at the beginning of the month this year (last year it was at the end of April), according to sources from the Federation of Majorcan Hoteliers and the Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association. “Around 50 percent of the hotels on the island are open, and have an average occupation of between 45 and 60 percent depending on the area, but the Playa de Palma, urban hotels in Palma, agrotourism and hotels with spas are seeing levels of occupation similar to those of Easter 2006, which was historic with regard to the amount of business done and the number of visitors”, said the President of the Federation of Hoteliers, Pere Cañellas.

According to the director of the Balearic Agrotourism Association, Brigitte Foster, her Association is more than satisfied with the level of reservations. “The average occupation level will be almost 10 percentage points above last year. This type of tourism is very much in demand in the British and German markets, and with the Spanish, who are beginning to appreciate the quality of this offer”, she said.

In the opinion of the Association of Travel Agents, Aviba, “this Easter there will be last minute offers and we are expecting a great take up of these. We know that it will work, because the demand is there, but the level of reservations will shoot up in the next two weeks. The most important thing is that the four and five star hotels that are open on the island will have an optimum occupation”, said the head of Aviba, Carlos Almoguera. Many hotels will not open until the end of April, but Easter this year falls at the beginning of the month.

The home market has become a holiday segment of the first order for the Balearic tourist industry, as far as bank holiday breaks go. The highest percentage of hotel reservations this Easter have been made by residents on the islands. Home tourism is on the rise, thanks in part to the special offers being made by many hotels at this time of year.