Gabriel Escarrer Jaume at the London World Travel Market last year. | R.C.

Hoteliers in the Balearics are trying to check to see if tour operators are concealing information about bookings.

By revealing lower reservations than may be the case, hoteliers are pressured into cutting prices in order to ensure occupancy, which results in greater profit for the tour operators.

Gabriel Escarrer, CEO of Meliá and president of the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence, suggests that various tour operators hold bookings’ information back.

As a consequence, he adds, it is no wonder that hoteliers are turning more and more to direct online selling in order to reduce dependence upon tour operators.

However, the president of the Association of Hotel Chains, Gabriel Llobera, says that “we are confident in the information we are given by tour operators”.

Stressing that tour operators are prioritising sales to cheaper competitor destinations, Llobera observes that Balearic hotels can’t compete on price but that if specific offers are needed to improve profit, then these are being made.

The tour operators’ stance is said to be contributing to lower revenues for hotels which, in some instances, are unable to achieve occupancy rates even with discounts.

The Majorca Hoteliers Federation suggests that occupancy is on average down by up to four per cent.