Yesterday was not a “good morning” for tourist industry bosses in the UK. At head office of IFTO, the International Federation of Tour Operators, secretary general Alan Flook was having a “very bad morning.” Apart from the fact the world's leading body of tour operators had not been officially informed about the Balearic government's plans to introduce the controversial tourist tax within the next six weeks, Balearic President Fransesc Antich appears to have gone back on his word. Last September, just days after the Twin Towers attack, the IFTO chairman Martin Brackenbury and Alan Flook met Antich for talks on the tax in Palma. “Antich told us that, even if the tax was introduced, it would not be until at least November 1,” Flook said yesterday. “From Antich down they all know who we are and who we represent. “We're surprised and amazed at the news, now is not the time to be introducing new taxes on tourists. It's the worst possible time and we explained all this to Antich that we have a responsibility to millions of consumers world wide who also have a right to be informed,” Flook said. “As we sit here talking, bookings to the Balearics are very slow and the brochures for holidays up to April 2003 are already in the travel agents. Despite the fact we can't believe the Balearics wanted to do this in the first place, this year is going to be a very difficult one. “It's going to have a big impact. Balearics bookings did not look good and as a result of this they're looking a lot worse. “I wouldn't like to be in charge of managing the Balearics economy this year,” Flook said.

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