TAKINGS in many shops and bars in the Balearics will be down 50 per cent this month compared to last August because of the “all inclusive” offers, according to Joan Miralles, president of the restaurant division of PIMEM (small and medium sized business organisation). He claimed that thanks to the all inclusive holidays, in which everything is paid for before the visitor arrives on the island, “tourists can holiday here for less than 20 euros a day.” This means that there is “a spectacular reduction” in the amount of money spent in the shops, bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood of the all inclusive hotels. Miralles warned that many places “will not be able to pay the rent in August as a result of low tourist consumer spending.” He went on to say that it was “very important to maintain the business infrastructure of the islands.” Miralles claimed that more than 300 businesses in Cala Rajada (Capdepera) have collected signatures to back the letter which Pimem and CAEB (the business federation) will send to Balearic tourism chief Joan Flaquer next week. In the letter, they will ask him to regulate the all inclusive holidays, “making the hoteliers raise the quality of what is on offer.” Not only is the all inclusive holiday bad for local business, it is also bad for your health, according to Miralles, as it “incites people to drink too much” as many hotels offer free drinks to tourists. And the low price of the all inclusive means that hotels offer services (food, amenities, etc) of “poor quality” in order to be competitive, and this includes “an excessive reduction in staffing levels.” Miralles also affirmed that all inclusive holidays account for 25 per cent of the holiday packages in the Balearic islands, 30 per cent of visitors stay in rented apartments or houses, and the remainder stay in conventional hotels.

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