Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tourism economics / Fat people

Everything must go! Everything must go!

It would appear that the tour operators (TOs) are offering some real bargains in order to shift holidays for what is - one operator admits - a difficult end of season. Now, this really does not chime with what we were led to believe, making one ever more suspicious of the figures and messages that the authorities churn out. However, there is - or would seem to be - another factor, i.e. the package holiday is taking a knock from the independent traveller. This is what is being “blamed” for a shortfall in the sale of package deals this autumn, and yet not so long ago we were also told that holiday lets in parts of the island were down. What is going on? Does anyone really know? Or are just fed a diet of total bollocks?

The answer to that is almost certainly yes. Anyway to make matters even less ducky, winter tourism is set to be lower than usual, to which one might well enquire what winter tourism. The fact is, and I’ve said it before here, Mallorca is not really a winter destination. The TOs can get people to go to the Canaries for the simple reason that it is warmer.

Another little matter about this season is the fact that all the talk about people abandoning Turkey because of bird flu and coming to Mallorca turned out to be crap as well. They did turn their back on Turkey to some extent but opted for Greece instead.

After the deluge and floods, the weather has returned to something like normal. Very pleasant in fact, though the first duvets of the late summer are now needed.

The obsession in the UK with the national obesity problem is understandable; if, that is, one takes a sizeable (literally) proportion of the temporary inhabitants close by and along the Greasy Mile as being representative. Stupid fat white men and stupid fat white women. Not everyone, of course, but man alive you could be excused for thinking the whole of the UK was about to sink under the weight of blubber if what one witnesses around there is indicative. The other day I encountered a slight traffic problem. Well not slight really, fairly big; in fact fucking enormous. There was a family-sized tub of lard attempting to pedal a trike over the admittedly rather steep little bridge halfway along the Greasy Mile. Could they make it? Could they heck. But when you’re looking to shift several hundredweight of lard it’s not surprising. All one can do as a driver behind this less-than-heaving mountain of human flesh is to stay put at the foot of the bridge and wait for it to finally dismount and push itself over the summit.

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