By Humphrey Carter
EUROPE'S leading tour operators were yesterday warned not to turn the Balearics into one huge all-inclusive resort.
The special commission set up in May to study the effects of all-inclusive resorts in the Balearics yesterday announced its verdict and while neither condoning all inclusives nor recommending new “specific government regulations” be introduced for the controversial all-inclusive market, the independent commission has urged the local authorities against encouraging further growth in the sector. It advised the introduction of strict controls especially with regards to the quality of services and facilities provided as well as hygiene and the serving of alcoholic drinks to under-age guests. The commission, which has held seven meetings since being set up earlier this summer, also backed the Balearic government's plans to set up an all-inclusive watchdog. But, the commission said that market forces must be respected and, in the meantime, the Balearic tourist industry should be looking to further diversify into new markets by offering new and more varied products. Balearic Tourism Minister Joan Flaquer said at yesterday's presentation that the results of the study are extremely important and will be taken on board when the government decides exactly how to respond to the all-inclusive boom which has been causing a great deal of concern in some of the key resorts. The service sector has complained of a downturn in takings because of the increase in the all-inclusive complexes. The results of the commission's findings are not going to be welcomed in the resorts where businesses are finding it hard to compete with the all-inclusive hotels. This summer, a group of bar owners in Alcudia were considering taking their complaint to the European Court on the grounds of un-fair competition.

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