THE German tourism group TUI, which brings more than a million tourists a year to the islands, has announced a record summer for 2007 in the Balearics, in spite of the increase in hotel prices. Hotels have increased their prices by three percent, which is high in comparison with other holiday destinations, such as the Canaries (1.5 percent), Portugal (1.5 percent), mainland Spain (2.5 percent), Turkey (where prices have dropped by 3 percent) and Egypt (0 percent), according to the President of TUI Germany, Volker Bottcher. He was speaking during the presentation of TUI's programme for next summer. “Majorca, and the Balearics in general, have had a good summer in 2006, with a rise of 7.8 percent in our volume of business, in spite of the fact that the number of clients fell by 3.8 percent. “This is due to the fact that early bookings went well and that the rest were sold at brochure prices, reducing the last minute offers considerably. “Turkey's share of the market has fallen by 32 percent, Egypt by 11.2 percent and Tunisia by 17.8 percent. Looking towards next summer, these countries will try to attract more tourists, but it will be difficult for them to do this in the short term”, said Bottcher. With regard to the average rise of three percent in hotel prices, he recognised that when there is more demand than supply “it is logical that prices rise. Three percent is acceptable and can be absorbed by the market because the price/quality ratio is optimum”. This explains why the tourism group have increased their contracts for hotel beds by five percent on Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza for 2007. TUI are hoping to increase their cost effectiveness and their volume of visitors to all the islands. For this winter, with their recently published brochures, TUI is registering an increase of 11 percent in its volume of sales for Majorca, mainly for holiday flats, all inclusive, trekking, golf and active tourism holidays. After reviewing the success of its tourist business in Minorca (10 percent) and Ibiza (15 percent), the President of TUI Germany said that the demand for all inclusive offers on Majorca will increase “slightly” in the coming summer.

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