Palma.—The Hostelry and Tourism department of the General Workers Union (UGT) said yesterday that since the start of the season, hoteliers' invoices to the tour operators for package deals in their establishments are not being paid within the agreed 60 days timeframe. The Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association said that they acknowledged that there is a delay in the cash flow from the tour operators.

Association President Francisco Marín said that the situation is of great worry to the hoteliers who have been affected particularly as the tourist season is still at its height and occupancy levels are higher than they have ever been over the past three years.

Marin said that the non payment of invoices by the tour operators appears to be spreading and that his association members are anxious that they be settled in the short to medium-term.

UGT sources said that they were “appalled” at the repeated way in which mostly Spanish and German tour operators are breaking their agreements with the hotels.

Marín explained that although the non-payment row has occurred in previous years, this is the first when banking organisations have flatly refused to give more lines of credit to hoteliers who are waiting to be paid. “Now, we are completely dependent on the tour operators sticking to their invoice settlement agreements so that we can pay our staff and suppliers,” said Marin.

He said that it is likely that if no solution is found, the situation will spread to other resorts not just across Majorca but in other islands in the Balearics as well. Marin said that what is worse, the hoteliers had already conceded discounts to the tour operators to ensure as many clients as possible.