By Humphrey Carter

THE President of the Balearic Association of Travel Agents, Sylvia Riera, said yesterday that Balearic consumers are spending an average of 200 euros less on their holidays this year but she stresses that travel agents are expecting a ten percent increase in trade this year.

Riera explained that travel agents are reporting that people are spending an average of between 400 and 500 euros on their holiday, significantly less than two years ago when the average was between 600 and 700 euros.

It has also become clear that clients are reducing the length of their holiday.
Riera said that four or five years ago, the norm was a 14-night package but this year, the majority of consumers are booking a week of four to five day package.

However, Riera is optimistic that summer trade is going to better than last, by around ten percent according to her current estimate. “People may have reduced their budgets and period spent on holiday but people are still travelling,” she underlined.

One of the big increases has been in cruise bookings. “Cruises are continuing to get cheaper and the opportunity of being able to visit six or seven places is becoming very attractive for holiday makers,” Riera explained.

London, Paris, Rome and Berlin are the most popular city break destinations for the Balearics while more people are also opting to explore the islands more or opt for an agro-tourism break.

She said that European holidays in general are cheaper than last year while she pointed out that packages to the Caribbean are still “very cheap.” To the contrary, inter continental travel to the United Sates or Asia, for example, is much more expensive than last year.
Last year, many agencies were forced to close by the recession but there are currently 795 travel agents in the Balearics, 497 of which are members of the Balearic Association of Travel Agents.


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