London World Travel Market


Hoteliers in the Balearics are signing contracts with tour operators for the next three summers. The increased and renewed competition from other destinations is leading the hotels to shore up the sale of beds, and as Maria Frontera of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation says, they are looking for the best business option going forward because of this competition.

The leading tour operators say that hoteliers in the Balearics and other Spanish destinations are having to accept that there is this revival. But a need to sign contracts up to 2021 is not one that all hotel groups face. Gabriel Escarrer of Meliá says that large groups such as his own do not have to go down this route. For smaller hotel companies it is a different matter if they want to ensure maximum business activity.

Reinforcing this view, the president of the Exceltur tourism alliance, José Luis Zoreda, said at the World Travel Market that the recovery of other destinations has distorted the holiday market in Spanish resorts. As a consequence, contracts with tour operators are the best means of guaranteeing business over the next few years.

Spain hotels cannot compete against the sort of government-driven strategies in Turkey, where a latest measure is an obligation to drop prices of services by ten per cent. This comes on top of the fall in the value of the Turkish lira.

With the competition having returned to a situation of some normality and because of lingering uncertainties regarding Brexit, the hoteliers federation is aware of how the behaviour of the two main tourist markets - the UK and Germany - produced a situation in July and August this year whereby UK tourism outstripped German. This was for the whole of the Balearics and not Majorca, where German tourism as a whole is still around two times greater than the UK's.

The fall in German tourism was, in percentage terms, noticeably higher than a comparatively small one for the British market. But Brexit could mean hefty desertion rates by both markets. This said, one forecast for UK tourism next summer shows a three per cent rise.