The Managing Director of Airtours, Britain's biggest travel firm and one of the largest in the world, warned Spain last night that British tourism would fall when the euro was introduced. Tim Bryne said that competing holiday countries outside the euro zone would benefit because British tourists would be getting less money for their pound sterling. He claimed that countries like Egypt and Tunisia would receive many more holidaymakers once the euro was introduced in 2002 in Spain and the other bloc countries. He forecast that the value of the pound would fall while the euro would increase in value over the next few years. Airtours will be bringing an estimated five million tourists to Spain this year. The Manchester-based tour firm said that they would also be seeking a strategic alliance with the Palma-based Sol Hotel Group. Airtours is one of the big three tour firms in the world which include TUI-Thomas and the Condor Neckermann Group. In Majorca the company owns the massive Bellvue complex in Alcudia which has more than three thousand apartments. They have recently signed a deal with the Hotetur hotel chain. Airtours has also been one of the most outspoken critics of the tourist tax which the local government plans to introduce.

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