The Councillor for Tourism for Ibiza and Formentera, Josep Mari Ribas, said yesterday that he is not concerned about the drop in the number of British tourists to Ibiza this year and the forecasted decline for next summer. Mari Ribas, one of the large Balearic delegation at the World Travel Market at Earls Court in London this week, said yesterday that demand for Ibiza on the UK market is poor at the moment because British holidaymakers “are less and less reserving their holidays in the classic fashion of months in advance and more and more are waiting till the last minute.” The Councillor said that the industry needs to err on the side of caution and draw up a clear distinction between reservations and actual holiday sales. He pointed out that this time last year in London, he was being given similar market forecasts “but at the end of the season, we had more British visitors than ever.” But he is worried about reports he has received from tour operators stating that the UK travel market is having increasing problems in selling Ibiza as a family destination. The Tourism Councillor said that more than ever, there is an obvious need for Ibiza to try and start offering and selling a different image and product in order to make the island attractive to families again. That all said and done, the Ibizan authorities are keen to preserve the youth holiday market. The Councillor said that there is no need to do away with the market, what the authorities have to do is “re-orientate” the market. A recent report produced by the Association of British Travel Agents, indicates that bookings to Ibiza have already slumped by six percent because of its youth and clubbing image, but the island is facing tough competition from some of the Greek islands which are now promoting a similar kind of wet and wild holiday which has a substantial market demand in Europe.

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