The low level of bookings in Germany and a sluggish market in the United Kingdom have started to ring alarm bells in the Majorcan hotel sector, and according to Ignasi Esteve, vice president of the Majorcan Hoteliers Federation, a large number of hoteliers “will delay opening until mid-April because of the poor evolution of the two chief markets.” He confirmed that the news from Germany “was not positive, and this has generated concern, and so rather than having hotels open with few guests, the opening will be delayed as long as possible.” He added that this year may see the latest opening ever of some hotels which in the past have opened at the end of February or middle of March. Esteve went on to say that if the German market does not react, the summer will be very complicated. And if the situation in the United Kingdom does not improve, “then we have a rather delicate panorama.” On top of that, he said, the threat of war in Iraq will also affect the sector. A delay in opening will mean another round of negotiations with tour operators and unions, as tourists will have to be regrouped to have hotels with “acceptable” levels of occupation and handle wage and running costs. There will also be delays in contracting workers. The hoteliers have called on the government to increase its efforts to promote the Balearics and boost sales to the islands. “Without promotion and an improvement in the image of the Islands, it will be impossible to recover market quotas,” the hoteliers say.

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