THE World Travel market drew to a close in London yesterday and Cosmos, Monarch Airline and Co-operative Travel director, Hugh Morgan, told the Bulletin that there was not as much doom and gloom as last year but, 2010 is going to be another difficult year. Morgan admitted that the Balearic delegation, headed by President Francesc Antich, next to whom he sat during the tour operators working lunch, and the Tourism Minister Miguel Nadal, are making all the right noises and seriously want to work together to boost tourism. They were flying the flag and pushing like mad. But, so too were all the competing destinations such as Greece, Egypt and Cyprus who were in London with ministers and policy makers intent on doing business, he said.
However, Spain did have a big impact on the fair and many of the country's key tourist destinations are more willing than ever to cooperate and work closely together. But, we, the industry, have spent the past two weeks trying to address one of the key hurdles and that is convincing Spanish airport authority Aena to reduce airport taxes by three euros per person. Aena appear to have a mental problem with the issue. They don't understand that if TUI, Thomas Cook and the Cooperative Group, which fly 10.5 million Britons to Spain each year, were given the 3 euro break, that would give us a marketing budget of nearly 40 million to invest in promoting Spanish destinations. I started pushing that in Madrid two weeks ago and we continued all week in London.