PALMA
THE Association of Balearic Travel Agencies (Aviba) yesterday reported a significant downturn in the number of package holidays booked by residents of the Islands who normally go away in the winter.

Such clients are often people who have worked intensively at least six months of the year during the tourist season, and the fact that a section of them have taken the decision not to spend on foreign or mainland holidays have led the agencies to predict a fall in sales by as much as 15 percent by the end of the year. Carlos Almoguera, president of Aviba, confirmed yesterday that “now there isn't the same rate of bookings as there have been in previous years.” He said that since the summer, there had been a noticeably sharp fall in the sale of bargain breaks, including those which would normally have been snapped up in Spain's public holiday long weekends last month. Almoguera added that the shortfall is probably linked to the current economic crisis which has cut deeply into people's leisure habits as well as the fact that the Islands are a leader in the country's regional unemployment figures.

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