By Humphrey Carter PALMA

THE German wing of Europe's largest tour operator, TUI, has this week warned the Balearics that unless it drops its hotel prices during the low winter season and more auxiliary services, bars and restaurants etc. remain open, certain areas of Majorca could lose even more trade.

The Chairman of TUI-Germany, Volker Böttcher, speaking during the presentation of the operator's winter tourism programme, made it clear that TUI is strongly committed to Majorca but, as many of the European operators and airlines discovered over the winter, if there is not the demand, it is not financially viable to be operating regular flight services.

And, in order to make it viable to run winter flight services, Majorcan hoteliers need to stay open, reduce their prices slightly, be more flexible about costings and resorts needs to remain open. “If the demand is there, we will put on the flights, we're more than prepared to do so,” Böttcher stressed.
However, he sided with the hoteliers underlining the fact that there is very little an hotelier can do if the complementary tourism services and facilities in resorts are closed and warned that some resorts are going to have to change their attitude this winter if they wish to be included in TUI's winter programme.

TUI is prepared to reduce its winter prices by one percent, but Böttcher wants to see a reciprocal response from the tourist industry in Majorca. “We've seen a gradual decline in winter tourism numbers over the past three years and the time has come for some drastic measures to be taken to recoup the low season activity,” he stressed.

This week, TUI also warned that, unless the Balearics begins to offers more all-inclusive hotels and resorts , there is going it be a huge shift in the German market next year with more Germans heading to Greece and Turkey during the summer.