“Nothing is going to happen to us because we live in Majorca.” I have heard this statement quite often since the attacks in the United States. Naturally, there is fear and it is quite comforting to be on a beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean but economically speaking the effects of the attack could hit the island hard. As we have seen in the past the island economy depends heavily on Northern Europe with Britain and Germany providing many thousands of millions of pesetas to local coffers through tourism. Already, the major tour firms have placed their winter programmes on hold and the “wait and see policty” means that at present some tour companies don't even know how many flights they are going to have a week in November. The tourist industry is waiting. Any substantial drop in tourism will have a direct knock-on effect on our everyday lives. We have seen this in the past such as the Gulf war. At this moment in time careful planning is called for. However, the local government, if Madrid's legal challenge is unsuccessful, wants to introduce the tourist tax next summer. If Balearic leader Francesc Antich wants to help the tourist industry then he should shelve the tax until times improve. Now is not the time to be thinking about squeezing a couple of extra pesetas out of the holidaymaker.

Now is the time for solidarity and good housekeeping. If the recessionary clouds do hit Britain then tour firms are going to have a difficult task try to get the public to part with their money. The last thing they need is a tourist tax which will further increase the price of their package holiday.

Jason Moore

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