PALMA
THE President of the Balearic Travel Agents' Association (Aviba), Pedro Iriondo, said yesterday that swine flu and recession are by far the biggest causes for any holiday cancellations, dwarfing any impact the ETA bomb attacks may have had.

Iriondo said that there are in fact “very few” cancellations of holiday bookings by people coming to the Balearics, but that “some” of them are due to the fear of the spread of swine flu. But he said that there was no more likelihood of contracting the H1N1 virus in the Islands than there was anywhere else.

Some foreign newspapers, said Iriondo, had recently generated alarm over the outbreak of swine flu on Majorca.
But the scare tactics were put into perspective by some organisations such as the Federation of German Travel Agents who quickly commented that swine flu was a global pandemic spreading right round the globe, so that it would “make no difference being in Germany, Spain or the United States.” Restricting travel wouldn't help stop its spread, the Federation added. Iriondo, who is also vice-president of the Majorcan Tourist Board, said that the tourist season this year has been “bad” due to global recession. He added that the same “pinch” is being felt in all Mediterranean countries.

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