Guillermo Albizuri, Carmen Riu, José A. Fernández Alarcón, Iago Negueruela y Javier Gándara. | Jaume Morey

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Hotels in the Balearic Islands are slashing their prices next summer and will be lower than they've been for the last four years

At a presentation with Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela, Guillermo Albizuri of Google, and the President of the Association Airlines & Director for Easyjet Spain, Javier Gándara, the co-President of the Riu group and member of the board of directors of TUI, Carmen Riu announced that “rooms booked by Thomas Cook customers will now have to be sold to other operators at rock bottom prices,” saying, “this will cause a reduction in business benefits, but should not lead to a decrease in quality because the goal that we all have to set, in both the private and public sector, is to make the Balearic Islands the most sustainable destination in the Mediterranean and this strategy will boost the industry.”

The expected fall in prices for the summer is expected to affect British, German and Scandinavian markets.

Minister Negueruela said “the positive thing is to position the Islands as a sustainable destination and I think we are moving in the right direction."

Carmen Riu, Iago Negueruela, Javier Gándara and Guillermo Albizuri all said they would “learn from mistakes that have been made and bet on a diversification of the markets and agreed that “despite the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the role of tour operators is still key i the tourism industry, but we must opt for new online marketing systems to cover the entire market."

They also discussed the issue of Brexit but said that “given the uncertainty that currently exists between the United Kingdom and the EU nobody knows what to expect, or what needs to be done to alleviate it."

Gándara said that the disappearance of Thomas Cook Airlines cannot be covered in the short term, but pointed out that the collapse of Air Berlin and Monarch Airlines had an adverse effect on the winter season but by the start of the summer season the situation had improved dramatically and Albizuri agreed saying “you don't have to play with prices and quality, what matters is the value of a destination.”