STAFF REPORTER
PALMA

BUSINESS looks so bad for the hotels which remain open in Palma during the winter that some may well decide to shut up shop for lack of clients, said Antonio Horrach, the President of the Majorcan Hoteliers' Association yesterday.

The 39 city-based hotels in Palma which normally do business during the “low season” - between November and February - are forecasting “the worst winter on record” and estimate that at best, they will only end up being a fifth full. Of even more concern is the fact that there have been firm reservations for only 5 percent of the hotel places available.

Maribel Pol, the President of Palma's Hotel Association added that hotels in Palma are currently registering an “extremely low” occupancy rate. She said they were only between 22 and 24 percent full in comparison with 32 percent for the same period in 2008. Pol expressed “real worry” over the lack of clients and said “it would make sense to close in the low season” like the majority of other hotels on the islands. She said that all hotels are for the moment going to try and keep their doors open after most establishements had cut their staff by between 10 and 12 percent over the last year.

Pol pointed out that as a result of the recession, many companies were adopting strategies to reduce costs. One major tactic is apparently to cut down on business trips so that as opposed to spending three or four nights in a destination, one night is all that is allowed.

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