Summer's coming to an end and with the same inevitability of clocks going back there will be a wailing and gnashing of teeth across the island as Mallorca shuts down, the flights stop and the questions are asked why there is no winter tourism. There is one very simple reason. Much though we may get some unusually warm weather - the first week of November last year and for much of February, when Mallorca's weather is typically at its worst - there is just not the guarantee. Three hundred days of sun and all that, but it's the warmth of the sun that matters, and so the tourist, the tour operator and the airline head south for the winter. South means the Canary Islands, and the Canaries will be receiving more tourists than ever this winter. Between October and April, the number of airline seats available to the winter sunseeker will rise by over 10%; over half a million more than last winter. And these sunseekers will mostly be going from the UK and Germany, the two countries, you might be aware, which form Mallorca's largest tourism markets.
While the Canaries' tourism authorities were basking in this warm winter sun news, Thomas Cook was letting us know which were the four destinations which have the shortest flight times for winter sun (shortest from the UK, that is). Sadie Geoghegan, who appears to be Thomas Cook's blogger-in-chief, informed us on the tour operator's blog that the four are the Costa del Sol, Morocco, Tunisia and ... the Balearics. Which is a bit odd when you consider that Thomas Cook comes nowhere near the Balearics during the winter. Or is the company telling us something we don't know? Probably not. Sadie and marketing might need to speak to each other.