The Balearic hotel sector is starting to panic about the slump in bookings for this summer season. Not because any concrete figures have been provided, but because the director general of the Balearic Tourism Institute (IBATUR), Tiffany Blackman, this week urged the hotel sector “not to panic,” setting alarm bells ringing. But, while over all, bookings are down, the hotel sector does not need to start worrying about the British market. Yesterday, the word from Britain's “big four” tour operators, Airtours, Thomson, First Choice and JMC, was that bookings are on par with last year. Of the four, only one said that bookings were slightly down and that the main reason is because Balearic hoteliers have put their prices up so much, they have priced themselves out of this year's highly competitive market. In Palma, tourism bosses have been claiming that bookings for the Balearics in the UK are down seven per cent, but according to the British tour operators and the Association of British Travel Agents, the decline is only three per cent.

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