“Are we still welcome in Spain?” is what Germans are asking themselves according to the chairman of Europe's leading tour operator TUI, Volker Bottcher. As far as Volker Bottcher is concerned, this summer season in the Balearics is a write off. He said that the 26 per cent slump in German bookings is because of the increases in hotel rates and the strikes by coach drivers and staff - “for the short term, the Balearics is going have to get used to less tourists,” he said. Spain's secretary general for tourism, Juan Costa, yesterday offered all his department's help to the Balearic government, but also warned Palma that it has to take responsibility for the situation this summer, “reflect on what is happening and revise its tourism policies.” Costa said that despite the problems gripping the international tourist industry, Spain as a whole, is on par with last year's tourism figures, while the Balearics has lost over 300'000 holidaymakers during the first six months of this year “which will undoubtably have a negative effect on the local economy and family income.” Costa urged the Balearic President Antich to make the most of the present situation to “reflect on what's gone wrong and start taking some positive action.”

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