The leader of the Balearic government Francesc Antich was given a double warning yesterday over the tourist tax from a leading hotelier and one of the principal tour operators. The President of the Nationwide Hoteliers Association (ZONTUR) Pedro Juan Davesa warned that the area of Spain which would enjoy the lowest hotel occupancy rate this year would be the Balearics because of the threat of the tourist tax. His words were echoed later by the President of the Condor & Neckermann Group, Stefan Pichler, who warned of severe consequences if the tax was introduced. Pichler held a meeting with Antich yesterday in which they discussed a wide range of topics from the tax to Majorca's image. On the first point the President of the German group, which now owns British tour firm Thomas Cook, said that he thought that the tourist tax was a bad idea and called for greater dialogue between hoteliers, tour operators and the regional government. On the question of the island's image he said that reports of a lack of water, beaches in a poor state, and the electricity problems which the island has experienced were helping to dent Majorca's image abroad and could affect holiday bookings. The German tour operator intends to bring in excess of two million holidaymakers to Majorca this year mostly from Britain and Germany. He said that his company was now the principal operator in the Balearics.

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