Two of the larger German tour companies, TUI and Neckermann, announced last week that they will be commencing operations next year during the month of April, with flights programmed from the 16th, which will guarantee a longer summer season. Two other agencies, Alltours and Roewe, are also studying the possibility of bringing forward the start of the season by two weeks. Their decision has also been helped by a very late Easter in 2011, as it falls on the weekend of 23rd/24th April.
After almost a decade of falling figures, the amount of German tourists choosing to spend their holidays on the island increased during 2010, and this despite a distinct lack of focus in the marketing strategy of the island to the German sector. Juanjo Riera, President of the Hoteliers’ Federation, recently claimed it was an error to promote Ibiza as ‘Balearics’ as to the Germans the word Balearics means Mallorca, and therefore only that island would benefit from the subsequent global advertising.
In a joint press conference last week Juanjo Riera and the Tourism Councillor, Vicent Ferrer, presented their proposals for their presentations at the World Travel Market, which will be held in London this week. Emphasis will be placed on promoting short winter holidays – slow breaks – during the winter. New pamphlets have been printed which include a presentation of the sporting activities and gastronomic delights to be found out of season. Ferrer commented that “we want people to realize that Ibiza does not close down completely at the end of October”, and a video showing the historical Old Town, the necropolis at Puig des Molins, meadows of sea-eel grass, kayak routes, yoga and trekking has been prepared. A further pamphlet is available to itemize the places which have been adapted for partially sighted people to enjoy holidays on the island. Today, 10th November, Pepa Marí, Director of the Tourism Department, will be explaining the promotion strategy which has been adopted for this year’s event, backed by the local group, Foc i Fum, who will be performing live.
Meanwhile, in other related news the Balearic Parliament voted unanimously in favour last week of putting pressure on both the local and national Governments to, in turn, put pressure on the German Government to reverse the decision taken earlier this year to increase passenger tax for those flying in and out of Germany. Airlines travelling to and from the Balearics will have to pay €13 per passenger, with charges being passed directly on to the customer.
It was announced that the Ministry for Tourism was to end its three year deal with world tennis number one, Rafa Nadal, after just one year. The initial deal was set to cost the Ministry a reported €6 million when it was signed last year, but apparently the cost of making 15 television ads and promotional videos ensured the final figure would be nearer to €15 million. Therefore the decision was taken to cancel the star’s contract, although the Ministry was keen to point out that the agreement had been reached amicably with Nadal’s family.
On Monday it was revealed the Ministry for Tourism had debts of €47 million, around 70 per cent of the total deficit currently facing the Balearic Government. The Minister responsible, Joana Barceló, revealed that the Govern would cover €20.5 million of this debt, while other financial packages would be found to cover the remainder.