Hotel chains and the Majorca Hoteliers Federation have attacked the "arrogance" of Tui, following statements made during the Berlin ITB tourism fair. They were particularly angered by what Tui's product director, Stefan Baumert, had to say. German families, he announced, are preferring to travel to Egypt despite the terrorist problems, and the reason is price.
Baumert, who appeared at a press conference alongside Balearic tourism minister Biel Barceló and the director-general for tourism, Pilar Carbonell, said that German families have a problem with choosing Majorca because of the price issue, something which isn't the case with other destinations. He stated that prospects for summer 2017 are very good for Spain as a whole but not so good for the Balearics and Majorca in particular. He identified Egypt and Greece as alternatives.
Asked if he was making a threat in trying to force hotelier prices down, Baumert replied that he didn't see any threat, only what Tui was seeing. He then qualified his remarks by saying that Majorca remains the preferred destination for Germans. It might be noted that earlier this year, the word from German tour operators was that Majorca was more or less sold out for high summer.
Inma de Benito, the president of the hoteliers federation, described Tui's statements as "an example of a German air of superiority". Antoni Horrach, the director-general of HM Hotels, called Tui a "tourism dinosaur". If Tui cannot bring clients, then other tour operators will do and with better financial conditions.
However, Tui was not alone in identifying price as an issue for German holidaymakers. Jan Frankenberg of DER Touristik said that Majorca is not competitive, noting that Greece is doubling the number of tourists and that Egypt is staging a comeback.
Benito is now asking Tui to reflect on what it has said and consider the fact that hotels in Majorca have made the commitment they have to enhanced quality. She adds that business philosophy is focused on continuing to add value with a price that is in accordance with this. Price being linked to an improvement in product quality is "positive for the destination".
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