Tour buses with tourists. | A. POL

It has not been a very good week for the Balearic tourist industry.

The big story was the 30 percent slump in hotel bookings for this month and August, the peak of the summer season with hoteliers stumped as to how to react and respond to competition from the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.

Today, it can be revealed that over the past five years, official guided tour companies have also taken a big hit.

According to the association of local travel agents, Aviba, bookings for guided excursions have fallen by 50 percent, costing the industry over one million euros.
And, this has had a knock on effect on the local transport sector, in particular the coach companies.

The President of the private transport association, FEBT, Rafael Roig, said that coach companies have traditionally been highly dependent on excursions during the summer, in fact all year round, but the drop in demand has not only hit the sales agents but also the coach companies.

According to Aviba, the main reason is that the spending power of tourists coming to the Balearics has fallen over the past five years, but that contradicts recent reports that, despite the drop in visitors this year, spending is up. “In order to sell excursions we’re having to offer special discounts.

“For example, trips to Valldemossa now include free entrance to the Cartuja so we can reduce the prices.

“The latest figures indicate that only one out of ten visitors to Majorca purchase an excursion, We’ve seen a gradual decline in demand over the past ten years when day and night excursions used to generated the best part of two million euros per season.

“But, looking at how the market has contracted, we’re never going to see those figures again with an annual decline of as much as 30 percent,” Aviba said.