At a conference for managing risks in the tourism sector that was held in Palma on Friday, there was a call for Brussels to intervene in the case of false claims for holiday sickness compensation. It was being proposed that these claims are integrated into the revised directive for package holidays, which is set to be enforced next year.

The conference, attended by legal advisers and hoteliers, heard that measures being adopted in the UK have started to bear fruit in changing the dynamics of claims. Action by tour operators has also had an effect, such as Thomas Cook now saying that it will only accept complaints that are made when holidaymakers are staying at a hotel. Moreover, last week the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales issued law firms with rules to adopt in assessing the validity or not of claims.

Nevertheless, it was felt that Brussels should be involved in order to ensure that false claims don't start to become an issue with markets other than the UK.

On the current debate in Majorca regarding the model of tourism, Inma Benito, the president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, observed that a decrease in tourism activity would have a negative effect on consumer confidence, on business and on employment. There would be fewer services and fewer jobs as well as an overall loss of welfare.

The manager of the Balearic Confederation of Business Associations, Sergio Bertrán, insisted that a strategy of the past few years in the tourism sector - one of investment, innovation, modernisation and diversification - should be rolled out to the rest of the economy. This would lead to a more competitive economy and a more cohesive society.

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