THE Balearic Parliament has agreed to create a parliamentary commission which will study how all-inclusive package holidays will hit the Balearic economy. The move comes after hundreds of bar and restaurant owners throughout the island voiced their fears over this new type of holiday package.
They are worried that the increase in all-inclusive holidays will seriously hit their businesses this year, and will even force some of them to shut down. In fact, they have been warned by the Bar and Restaurant Association to specialise and to offer better quality and lower prices in an effort to keep their market share. Opposition parties in the Parliament yesterday criticised the local government study, as they think it is lacking ambition and will not tackle the issue. “Too little, too late,” is the general opinion from the opposition groups. The spokesperson for the Majorcan Socialist party (PSM), Pere Sampol, estimated that all-inclusive holidays have increased hotel demand by 100'000 rooms this year. For this reason, he wants this proposal to be fortified into a law that will regulate all-inclusive holidays taking into account the affect they could have on the local economy. He believes that the Balearic government should freeze this type of holiday until the new law is in force.
The socialist party believe that certain minimum parameters, “a specific obligatory law”, must be established so that the quality of service is guaranteed in the all-inclusive sector. Following fears expressed by the business community, Balearic leader Jaume Matas, agreed to introduce a law which would regulate All Inclusive Holidays. Yesterday, opposition groups claimed that he had broken his promise.
“A study is not a law,” the opposition said.
Some hoteliers have said tour operators have been forced to introduce all inclusive holidays because of the expensive bar and restaurant prices on the island. A recent survey revealed that a beer costs the same in Munich as it does in Palma. Hoteliers have also countered saying that for many years they have been forced to keep their prices low and bar and restaurant owners have benefitted as a direct result. The All Inclusive issue looks set to hit the Balearic tourist industry this year at a time when holiday bookings are still down.
The islands are also facing stiff competition from competing resorts in the eastern Mediterranean.