Leading British tour operators in Palma yesterday admitted that things are very quiet and in Minorca, the hotel association expressed its concerns about the negative effects of the current global crisis on tourism. A spokesperson for the Minorcan Hotel Association, Ashome, said that its members are not worried too much about this winter, but the forthcoming summer season. A number of anxious Minorcan hoteliers are travelling to London for this week's World Travel Market in a bid to find out what is happening in the British market and what the outlook for next summer is. The President of the Minorcan Tourist Board, Antonio Mercadal, is leading the island's delegation to London and the party will be taking this year's trade fair extremely seriously. This winter in Majorca, the few hotels which have stayed open, have seen a 10 to 15 per cent fall in British hotel bookings while in Minorca, UK tour operators are pushing for a reduction in prices for next summer to try and boost bookings with discount offers. Ashome is determined not to let its members fall in to the discount holiday trap at this early stage. Before any drastic action is taken, they want to hear for themselves what the situation is while in London. Minorca has also seen external investment in the island's tourist industry start to drop off. The island's first virtual hostelry school is expected to open in just a few months time.

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