The president of Europe's largest tour operator TUI, which owns Thomson Holidays, Michael Frenzel, admitted in Palma yesterday that the summer season for Majorca, “was not good with regards to the German market, whereas the British market was better. “Germany's total market was nearly 20 per cent down for Majorca, but the UK was a little bit behind, but more or less the same as last year. “What happened in the summer was that we had a big growth in Turkey, nearly 10% and nearly 50% increase in holiday sales to Bulgaria and 30% to Croatia,” he said. “There's a lot of competition going on and hopefully next year, Majorca will come back, we're working on it,” Frenzel said. “The main question is price and value for money. “Sometimes the value for money is not there and people are being more selective, especially in a weak economic situation such as Germany, people are looking for cheaper holidays and best value for money. “Overall, tourism especially in our group TUI, the summer was not so bad, there were a lot of late bookings and the group is down four per cent on last year. “The German market was the worst, the UK market was the same as last year and the Danish market was 8% up, so there is no general tourism crisis in Europe. “It's a question of destination, it's a question of certain markets. “So looking ahead, I believe in Majorca, I believe in Spain, great destinations with excellent infrastructure and I think Majorca has to play on its strengths to recover. “The Balearic market was weak in Germany this year, the Spanish mainland was better and the Canaries were strong, so it is a specific Balearic problem. Frenzel does not believe the root problem is the tourist tax, it is a general price problem which of course the added cost of the tourist tax adds to in a price sensitive and competitive market.

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