The strong Pound may well have put the British in pole position in the Balearics, dominating the holiday market, but the region is still going to receive over one million less tourists this year. The Association of Hotel Chains, which represents 120'000 hotel rooms in the Balearics, revealed the deficit in tourists yesterday, adding that 1'125'000 less visitors will mean a 1'261 million euro fall in revenue for the local economy. The association has recently ordered a study of the market and president Miguel Amengual said yesterday that the report has revealed that this year, just 55 per cent of tourists coming to the Balearics are staying in hotels. He explained that while hotels will be as much as 910 million euros out of pocket, restaurnts, bars and the car hire sector will see an estimated 300 million euro drop in takings over the course of this year. Some of the hotel chains are braced for a 40 to 50 per cent fall in profits this year and the outlook for this coming winter is bleak. A surge in last minute bookings will help fill the hotels, but at discount prices will fail to fill the gap in revenue. And it is not just the hotels, it is commerce and the service sector as a whole which is paying a heavy price for the tourism crisis and fears for the long term.

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