STAFF REPORTER
MAJORCAN hoteliers are joining the tourist industry throughout Spain in denouncing British tour operator Thomas Cook for illegally applying a 5 percent discount to its invoices to clients in August and September this year.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Majorcan Hotel Federation (FEHM) after a meeting in Palma of some 50 Majorcan tourist companies and associations that have been affected by the move. “We are determined to use every legal means at our disposal to reclaim this money from the tour operator,” a spokesman said. Attendees at the meeting said that it was important to involve the Balearic government in their struggle to retain the money which they perceive as being lawfully theirs, otherwise it will set a “dangerous precedent” in the tourist industry. “This action has never before been taken by a tour operator,” the spokesman continued. FEHM is forming a united front with other hotel federations around the country including those in Benidorm, Costa del Sol, and the Canary Islands.

Thomas Cook offered Spain an olive branch this week by giving the Spanish Minister for Tourism, Joan Mesquida, assurances that it will increase its operations and capacity in Spain next year but that does not appear to have persuaded hoteliers from taking legal action which could land Thomas Cook before the European Commission.

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