By Humphrey Carter

THE Secretary of State for Tourism Joan Mesquida, yesterday said that he is considering offering the tourist industry cash incentives and tax breaks to help the market carry out necessary improvements this winter in an attempt to fight off riding competition from emerging non-Euro zone destinations.

Mesquida, who last week announced that a tourism crisis department is being set up, said yesterday that his department is currently finalising a new plan of action but he did confirm that a series of promotions are going to be launched in the key feeder market, in particular Britain, in an attempt to lift end of summer and Autumn bookings.

He said the tourist industry is still clinging on to the hope that there will be a late surge in demand and spending.

Britain has not had a summer and yesterday, for example, Flybe reported a late surge in demand for flights to Spain as Britons and the Spanish tourism authorities hope to tap into that market.

“Privilege Spain” is one of the new campaigns to attract tourism at the end of this year and the start of next.

However, Mesquida mentioned that attention will also be turned to Germany but it was reported yesterday that German consumer confidence has fallen to a fresh five-year low, as recession and high inflation fears continue to sour the mood on the high street.


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