Fears about the 2019 season had been expressed at November's World Travel Market.

Tour operators in the UK are offering holidays in the Balearics at knockdown prices. Adverts in the press and elsewhere are promising discounts of up to 50%. One example is a seven-night all-inclusive package for 255 pounds (298 euros). Another, with the flight from Newcastle to Palma, is 206 pounds (241 euros) for seven nights in a four-star hotel.

The reduced prices are not only for holidays in the Balearics. They apply elsewhere in the Mediterranean resort destinations. Early booking incentives such as this are common in March but they are set to extend for another month.

The offers are principally for May, about which there is particular concern regarding bookings. At the ITB fair in Berlin last month, it was observed that the key to a good season is "to save May". After May, it is a case of seeing how things develop until October; well, the tourism industry hopes. However, the expectation is of a "difficult" season, a point that Meliá's CEO Gabriel Escarrer was making last week.