Staff Reporter

PALMA
ALL the economic and tourist indications for the islands for this tourist season are exceeding those of last year, which was a record.
This will obviously have a positive effect on the Balearic Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The start of the season was a little uneven, but as the weeks went on the situation improved with regard to hotel occupation and the amount of business done by the catering and shopping sectors.

With the exception of Minorca, which is suffering a crisis because of its heavy reliance on the tourist season, the situation on the rest of the islands is very good, as confirmed by the hoteliers associations on each island, the CAEB (the confederation of business associations) and PIMEM (the small and medium sized businesses association), and the catering sector, as well as the shops belonging to Afedeco (the shopkeepers association) and PIMEM.

The Federation of Majorcan Hoteliers, Ashome (the Minorcan hoteliers) and the Hoteliers Association of Ibiza and Formentera say that, thanks to Spanish tourism which is increasing this year, hotel occupation is exceeding that of last year by an average of between three or four percentage points. “The Spanish tourist has a high spending power and likes the islands, so there has been an increase in this market during the last few years, to the detriment of the British market, which is decreasing by comparison, especially on Minorca. German tourism is also increasing, as well as other alternative markets,” the hoteliers say. “All this, together with the fact that this season places have been sold at the best prices, the brochure prices, adds up to a positive outlook for businesses, as they will slightly increase their profits”, explained sources from the hoteliers associations on the islands.

In the opinion of PIMEM and Afedeco the commercial opportunities are generally positive. “On Majorca sales are going well, on Ibiza they are remaining steady and on Minorca the situation is different because of their reliance on the Summer season”, said the President of Afedeco, Bartomeu Servera.

The President of PIMEM, Joan Cabrera, said that this Summer, “the turnover ratios are very much higher, around 10 percent at a general level and around 15 percent in Palma, thanks to the impact of Spanish tourism. Also, there are certainly areas which are suffering because of the all inclusive hotels, but these are in a minority. The prospects on Majorca are positive, the same as on Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera”.

With regard to Palma, Cabrera confirmed that, “the restaurants have never been so busy”.
According to PIMEM and CAEB, this confirms the prospects for this season, particualrly as advance bookings for September are higher than last year.
Employment is also at an all-time high, the hoteliers say.

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