Playa de Palma is very popular with German tourists. | Teresa Ayuga

As with school summer holidays, the autumn holiday break in Germany lasts for an extended period because of different dates in the sixteen Länder states.

In all, the summer holidays last for the best part of three months. The autumn holidays cover five weeks. Mecklenberg-Vorpommern's holidays start on October 2 and last a week. In Schleswig-Holstein, the dates are October 4 to 16. Schools in Thüringen are off from October 25 to November 6, while Bavaria has a shorter break from November 2 to 5. The timings for these breaks are determined by when the summer holidays fall, while the duration varies because some states have only a week off for Christmas whereas others have a fortnight.

For Mallorca's tourism, given the strength of the German market, this has obvious advantages. There is demand throughout October and into the start of November. The Balearic government has been making much of seeking an extension to the current season, but in reality it has long existed - if only on a very reduced basis into the first week of November. Hotelier decisions regarding staying open or closing tend to be guided by the resorts where German tourism is most represented.

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The DRV travel association in Germany is offering some good news. There is a great deal of interest in Mediterranean travel this autumn, and Mallorca is up at the top of the list of destinations attracting most of this interest but is in competition with other parts of Spain as well as Greece and Turkey.

The association says that "German citizens are increasingly showing their desire to travel", demand having built up from earlier in the year when they were being discouraged to travel. "There is a high level of demand for traditional Mediterranean destinations."

Although there is unquestionable demand for Mallorca, a problem that hoteliers and others are having to contend with is one that dogged them during the summer - the last-minute nature of bookings which makes planning tricky. Even so, German autumn tourism is forecast to be buoyant. Whether this extends much beyond the first week of November - as the government would love it to - is another matter.