Lucy Gorman (left) with Inma Benito of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation. | Miquel A. Cañellas


The Majorca Hoteliers Federation is working with the Spanish government on the issue of false compensation claims by British holidaymakers. The president, Inma Benito, says that the federation is looking at different means of tackling the problem, one of them being political and taking the matter up at state level.

Diplomatic measures are being sought because legislation in one country - the UK - is harming business, i.e. hoteliers in Majorca. Until political solutions arrive, the federation wants to find ways of minimising the problems. Hence there was a conference on the issue on Tuesday which was attended by legal experts and the Vice-Consul for the Balearics, Lucy Gorman.

Benito says that in 2016 there was a 700% increase in the number of claims and that these amounted to around 60 million euros. But there is additional concern for the hoteliers. It was suggested during the conference that more than 10,000 claims have been "hidden" by British tour operators. This was done in order not to affect negotiations for hotel places this summer. It is said that half of these claims will be false ones and the fear is that the amounts will be deducted by the tour operators from hoteliers' invoices. This is how these claims are normally paid for.

Majorca and Spain are far from being the only destinations which are affected by what is essentially only a British problem. In relative terms, Spain is just the seventh worst affected country behind Turkey, Mexico, Malta, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. In absolute terms, however, the number of claims is higher than elsewhere because of the sheer volume of UK tourism. The Balearics and the Canaries are the most affected regions, the conference was told. It also heard that 20% of hotels which are affected account for 65% of all false claims.