STAFF REPORTER
SOUVENIR sales so far this year on Majorca have fallen by 50 percent compared to takings for the same period in 2008, pushing the industry to crisis point.

Pepe Tirado, President of the Tourist Business and Services Association (Acotur) said yesterday that his members were in despair. “Daily takings last year didn't fall below between 800 and 1'000 euros a day but now we are having to work between 14 and 16 hours a day to earn between 200 and 300 euros. Joan Canals who runs three souvenir shops in Palma explained that 80 percent of clients are buying very cheap items, between 1 and 3 euros a time. Last year he said, people were prepared to spend between 20 and 30 euros. “We've got to grin and bear it through the sweltering heat to make a pittance,” he complained, adding that he has had to do without some staff that he would have employed in other years and do more hours himself.

Tirado said that Canals' situation was common to many souvenir shop owners and other tourist service businesses. “They can't take on the usual number of employees and are having to do work gruelling hours themselves,” he said, calculating that this year there are between 16'000 and 18'000 less workers in the souvenir industry.

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