For the first time in eight years, Balearic hotels are not full as the summer season reaches its peak and the hotel sector yesterday placed the blame at the feet of the local government. While the fact that there are 175'000 empty beds was topping national television news in Spain yesterday, Pere Cañellas, president of the Majorcan Hotel Federation (FHM) said that the left wing Balearic government “is lacking in any solid tourism policies, doesn't have any clear objectives and has decided to try bumbling along trying to patch things up, for which we are paying the price. “We're paying for the alarm bells certain local ministers have set ringing with comments about there no longer being the need for so many tourists, that holidaymakers are destroying the environment and that we must stop selling houses to the Germans,” Cañellas said. The president of the Hotel Federation represents 900 hotels. He said that the principal reason for the drop in hotel bookings, in particular on the German market, is the “serious competition” coming from tourism markets in Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Croatia and Bulgaria “which are responding to market needs phenomenally well and projected a very good image.” Cañellas said that added to that, the Balearics' image has been hit by the recent coach drivers' strike and Iberia pilots' strike and the power cuts and water problems of the past few years. Cañellas explained, that while the local government is not the root cause of the problem, it has not helped by making “annoying comments and emitting bad vibrations to the key tourism markets.”

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