Hotel prices in the Balearic Islands are being slashed for next summer in the wake of the Thomas Cook collapse.
Rates will be lower than they have been for four years with the fall in prices expected to affect the UK, German and Scandinavian markets.
Riu Group co-president Carmen Riu – a member of the Tui board of directors – was reported by the Majorca Daily Bulletin as saying that rooms booked by Thomas Cook customers will now have to be sold to other operators at “rock bottom” prices.
She added: “This will cause a reduction in business benefits, but should not lead to a decrease in quality because the goal that we all have to set, in both the private and public sector, is to make the Balearic Islands the most sustainable destination in the Mediterranean and this strategy will boost the industry.”
She was addressing a meeting of tourism leaders in the islands, including tourism minister Igao Negueruela, easyJet Spain director Javier Gandara and Guillermo Albizuri of Google.
They all said they would “learn from mistakes that have been made and bet on a diversification of the markets”.
And “despite the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, the role of tour operators is still key in the tourism industry, but we must opt for new online marketing systems to cover the entire market”.
Gandara said that the disappearance of Thomas Cook Airlines cannot be covered in the short term.
But he pointed out that the collapse of Air Berlin and Monarch Airlines had an adverse effect on the winter season but by the start of the summer the situation had improved dramatically.
Albizuri agreed, saying: “You don’t have to play with prices and quality, what matters is the value of a destination.”
They also discussed the issue of Brexit but said that “given the uncertainty that currently exists between the UK and the EU nobody knows what to expect, or what needs to be done to alleviate it”.
Minister Negueruela said: “The positive thing is to position the islands as a sustainable destination and I think we are moving in the right direction.”
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