Tourism minister Bel Busquets discussing matters with the Partido Popular.

20-03-2018Jaume Morey

Tourism minister Bel Busquets yesterday called on the Partido Popular to not wish for a poor tourism season and insisted that the number of tourists coming to the Balearics will be similar to last year.

The PP's Miquel Àngel Jerez told parliament that the recent ITB travel fair in Berlin had confirmed the "certainty" that the Balearics are losing competitiveness compared to destinations such as Turkey. "We could have seen this coming," said Jerez, because of government statements about there being "too many tourists", the imposition of the tourist tax, and the "Frankenstein law" of tourism that prevents hotel renovations. "We are sure that you will be able to make the current situation even worse," he told Busquets.

The minister responded by saying that "apocalyptic speeches by the PP are irresponsible". The Balearics, she maintained, will "compete on quality" against other Mediterranean destinations. It was true, she conceded, that certain destinations are recovering, but the tourism commitment of both the public and private sector in the Balearics is that of "sustainability, quality" and an increase in tourist average spending. In this respect, she noted, there were 12% more tourists last November and 24% greater spending.

The PP last week accused Busquets of not having the "profile" to be tourism minister and has promised to present her with a barrage of questions in parliament.

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