President Armengol (front third left) , tourism minister Bel Busquets (second right) and others at the ITB fair on Wednesday.


The ITB travel trade show started in Berlin yesterday. The last of the big three fairs held over the winter (London and Madrid are the others), this year's is against the background of what is looking like the most difficult tourism season since 2010. Nine years ago financial crisis was the concern. Now, it is falling numbers of German tourists, who are opting for other Mediterranean destinations. An estimate is that German tourism in the Balearics could fall by around 400,000 - approximately eight per cent.

Balearic hoteliers are holding meetings with German tour operators at which business for 2020 will be under discussion as will be campaigns for this year. Hoteliers will also be seeking assurances about contracts for places this summer being respected.

The concern among the hoteliers is obvious, as it has been stated enough times. The rebound in bookings for Turkey in particular has exceeded forecasts. Airlines, meanwhile, are not altering schedules to Balearic airports. Demand for the Balearics could well rise if other destinations are booked out.

The DRV German travel association believes that the tourist tax is not doing the Balearics any favours in the face of competition from Turkey, which will be the main beneficiary from a switch in German holidaymaking this year. Germany's tour operators would like the tax to be dropped or at least reduced.