Palma.—The hoteliers feel that since the start of the crisis, they have yielded sufficiently to tour operator price guide lines to secure a market to compete with Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey. Because of this insistence that hoteliers keep their prices as low as possible, prices actually went down - in some cases more than 15 percent.

The President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation (FEHM) Marilen Pol, said yesterday that over the past three years “hoteliers have in some instances dropped their prices by as much as 20 percent, a level which cannot under the present circumstances be allowed to continue because costs have shot up and the very viability of some companies is at stake”.

According to Pol, the argument which is being put forward by companies such as TUI, Thomas Cook, Alltours, REWE, FTI, Cosmos and others is that in order to secure the “loyalty” of clients which have come to Spain and the Balearics this year because of the turmoil in Africa, it is essential to keep any price increases to a minimum. Although Pol recognised the principle of the strategy, she said that it should not be at the cost of pushing prices down further. It is important she said, to recover the concept of profitability so that the hoteliers can reestablish themselves as competitive forces in their own right.