Peter Frankhauser, right, at presentation in Palma. | Morey


The directors of British tour operator Thomas Cook are convinced that the introduction of the eco-tax would lead to a loss of tourists for the Balearics. Speaking in Palma, CEO Peter Frankhauser, accompanied by chairman of the Thomas Cook board, Frank Meysman, was adamant in insisting that visitors will stop coming if they have to pay one or two euros more a day for the tax.

Frankhauser said that this would amount to a significant sum for a family on a ten-day or fortnight's holiday. While he accepted that many European cities have a tourist tax, competitors to the Balearics, like Greece or countries in north Africa, do not. He also recalled the experience of 2002-2003 and the "peaceful death" of the eco-tax that was brought in by the Antich government: the tax passed away some eighteen months after it was implemented.

The Thomas Cook CEO praised hotel redevelopments and legislative means to allow problems in Magalluf and Playa de Palma to be addressed. "This is the way to go in bringing about increased productivity for tourist resorts," he said. However, he was surprised that so many shops in the centre of Palma continue to not open on Sundays. "This is something which is essential if Majorca wishes to position itself as a city-break destination."