Easter holiday bookings in the Balearics are down by five per cent, according to local travel agents, but the three resorts which are expected to do well are Alcudia, Cala Rajada and the Playa de Palma which, contrary to the Hotel Federation ruling out price reductions, have been offering special “affordable” Easter deals. A spokesperson for AVIBA, the Association of Balearic Travel Agents, said that there are a number of hotels in the three resorts which have made a concerted effort this year to capture a large number of guests over Esater in order to compensate for a dull winter. On the whole, however, in comparison to the past few years, bookings are down. All of the Spanish airlines are increasing their flights between the Balearics and the mainland this weekend in anticipation of a late surge in bookings and all of the airlines are confident that they will be carrying maximum passenger loads. A number of travel agents have experienced an increase in the number of bookings for overseas Easter breaks. But there are a number of indications that the Balearics could fill up at the last minute with a sizeable proportion of the market waiting for last minute bargains. If tourism figures for last month, February, are anything to go by, 21.5 per cent more people, 317'621 in total of which 232'935 were from overseas, visited the islands.

306 '018 tourists flew into the region with a further 11'603 arriving by sea, with the majority, 293'657 coming to Majorca. For the moment though, the Easter market, both on the domestic and international fronts, is sluggish “but we hope it picks up over the next few days,” the AVIBA spokesperson said. Prices of package holidays for the Balearics in the United Kingdom are also being reduced in order to kick start the market, not only for Easter but also for the summer season which for the moment is set to see a 15 to 20 per cent fall in British and German bookings.

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