Sun & Beach. Traditional, but no different from elsewhere


According to the Mallorcan Chamber of Commerce, the proliferation of competition from other destinations offering "sun and beach" holidays in the Mediterranean, the high cost of eating out and flights are the main threats to tourism in the Balearic Islands and are only counterbalanced by the fact that the islands are well established in the sector, close to the main markets and the accommodation on offer is varied and of quality.

This was the conclusion published in a study on tourist products in the Balearic Islands carried out by the institution over a period of two years which was released last week.

The report states that the islands have up to 30 existing tourist products that could be promoted more in the short term, adding that the most established types of holiday are "sun and beach", residential, nautical, golf, cruising, cycling and diving. All of these are appreciated by the tourists as they are good quality but they are not any different from the rest of the Mediterranean.

Other areas which the report feels could be developed more are meetings, such as congresses and conventions, and language courses, through schools and universities, the latter having proved successful in Malta for some time.

On a smaller scale, the report suggests that holidays based on health/beauty, games, gastronomy, luxury hotels, shopping or weddings could attract "a few thousand" visitors each year.

Government rejects plea to delay IVA rise

The State Government has rejected a petition from the Balearic tourist sector to postpone for three months the increase in I.V.A. from 16% to 18%, which it is anticipated will happen in July. The reason given for the decision is that the increase will have a limited impact in the tourist season as part of the contract will have been closed before 1st July and will therefore be subject to the current rate of tax.

Whilst the Government understands the sector's view that the increase will not be good for tourism, it points out that the introduction of the new rate has already been delayed nine months, due to the economic climate, as it was announced last September but will not be applied until July.