Thursday, November 09, 2006

All-inclusives / Tourism economics

There are times I wonder about the local published media. Back on 30 September I referred to the non-story about dog-fouling in Alcúdia that “Euro Weekly” had produced as a front-page splash. In the latest issue there is something about all-inclusives: they should be banned. Hmm, interesting you might think, until you become aware that the call for this ban comes from the owner of a bookshop in Palmanova. Now, she’s quite entitled to her opinion, but that opinion carries no weight; certainly not enough to base a newspaper item around. What can we expect next? Lenny of Bar Poop in Magaluf* calls for British troops to be pulled out of Iraq?

If it were, let’s say, the Balearic Tourism Minister making such a call for ban, then it would merit some attention, but seriously this ... Ok as a letter, but as an article?

To make matters worse, the same lady is then quoted as saying that the government should influence tour operators in order to boost winter tourism. They can influence all they like, but a key reason why Mallorca is no longer a significant winter destination is because people can fly to warmer climes that much more cheaply than they used to be able to and because people are offered that much wider a choice. That’s tour operators for you.

And then ... she also calls for a cap on prices.

Oh, gawsh. If one wishes to, one can go back to 30 August when the subject of price controls came up, and I begged to differ.

But what I also wonder, taking account of this gem of an item and the previous front page story, is whether I am guilty of an irony by-pass. Are they intended to be ironic? Must be.

Now, I might be open to a charge that what I blog is just my opinion, and that would be right. But blogging and newspaper reports are two different things. Newspapers form opinion far more strongly than certainly this blog ever will, and so there is an obligation to be journalistic not just in choice of source but also in the pursuit of balance.

(* As far as I am aware, there is neither a Bar Poop in Magaluf nor a Lenny.)

Anyway, to weightier matters. Rafael Nadal, well-known Mallorcan tennis-player, pitched up at the Balearics stand at the World Travel Fair in London to lend support to Joan Flaquer (the tourism minister) and his chums. It is not known if Rafa had anything to say about all-inclusives, Iraq or global warming, but Sr. Flaquer waxed favourably about the prospects for 2007 tourism, despite rises in hotel prices. The major British and German operators are pointing to rise in demand; the level of Brit tourism to the islands is expected to be up by two to three per cent. Record year. Record year. Same old record. But if the all-inclusives were to be banned ...

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