THE Mayor's deputy responsible for Tourism and Overseas Promotions in the Palma city council, Francisca Bennásar, put new heart into hoteliers in the Balearics yesterday by telling them “don't drop your prices any more”, and that they should “weather the storm”. A recovery of the tourist market sector “is on the horizon”, she said. In statements made to the Spanish news agency EFE, Bennásar, who was a European MP before being elected to the city council in May, explained that hoteliers “had been forced to lower their prices because of the crisis in the sector. “They had seen that the high season was approaching and that forecasts were not proving accurate; as a result, they opted for what was seen as an emergency measure, which was to drop their prices.” She went to say that such a drastic alternative would not now be recommended as “we are undergoing the process of re-evaluating our offer of Majorca as a holiday destination, but the hoteliers had little choice”. Bennásar, representing the Partido Popular, has substituted Joan Bauzá as the senior officer for Tourism at Palma's City Hall.
She reiterated that her main aim was to ”encourage the hoteliers by telling them not to lower their prices any more.” STORM “They must weather the storm, even though I know that it is easier said than done. “I have confidence, however, that a recovery of the industry will come linked with the new Balearic government headed up by Jaume Matas and his decision to repeal the eco-tax, otherwise known as the tourist tax”, she confirmed. According to Bennásar, “in this way, we can continue with the plans that we had to improve our offer to visitors whilst not making a gift of it; I am sending a message of encouragement to the hoteliers, of hope and anticipation, because I am convinced that the situation will improve.” The recently appointed mayor's deputy responsible for Tourism and Overseas Promotion confirmed that she had had meetings with hoteliers from the Playa de Palma area for an “exchange of views”, she reported. “It's important not to forget that the Playa de Palma (with some 50'000 hotel beds) was the starting point of mass tourism in Majorca and is known the world over. “We have to make a combined effort to ensure it recovers the splendid image it once had,” Bennásar rallied.