Tourists Ignoring Financial Worries

By: Roger Munns

At a recent press conference, no less a financial expert than the Governor of the Bank of England warned that the 'nice decade' was over and that the British economy was now on a bumpy road while adjusting itself, and noted that personal disposable income would be reduced for the ordinary man and woman in the street.

But that hasn't stopped the British booking their summer holidays - indeed some travel analysts are suggesting that the holidays industry could see a rise of around 8 per cent of the number of trips booked in 2008 compared to 2007.

One British company who have travel sites for ten popular European holiday destinations thinks that for the majority of the population signs of a recession are just that - signs, and many have yet to feel any direct economic impact.

'If there is to be a slow down in the growth of the number of holidays abroad taken by people in the UK it is more likely to be in 2009 than 2008', they suggest.

'Higher unemployment has yet to come, and while fuel prices are higher and food prices have gone up, disposable income hasn't taken a big hit yet. Many people booked their holidays in December or January, and they're not likely to cancel their summer holidays now. The real test will be this December and January to see if people have the confidence to book a holiday six months in advance as they often have in the past. That's when we think the travel industry will see a drop in bookings compared to twelve months before.'

And while holiday bookings for this year have held up remarkably well, there is a shift in where people are heading, thanks mainly to the British currency doing poorly against the Euro.

Turkey is proving to be very popular this year as their currency isn't particularly strong against the British pound, and it could even outstrip Majorca for popularity this summer.

Some Spanish island's rely heavily on British tourism, and Majorca's sister island of Menorca will feel the pinch if the number of holidays taken by the British this year or next is in decline.

Menorca is the second largest of Spain's three Balearic Islands, Majorca the biggest, Ibiza the smallest.

Typical of a Menorca holiday resort is Santo Tomas, a convenient 20 minutes from the island's Mahon Airport, which sees a host of flights to Menorca from the UK and Germany during the summer holidays.

The beach area in Santo Thomas offers popular busier stretches and quaint hideaways. At two miles long and reaching as far as another popular resort, Son Bou, it's never overcrowded and offers protection with its surrounding sand dunes. The beach, patrolled for safety, is long and narrow. It offers an excellent swimming habitat, fine sand and warm surf. Scenic countryside and woods provide a backdrop to the sand and the Mediterranean waters.

It's quiteness might be part of its appeal, but Santo Tomas will be hoping along with Menorca's other holiday resorts and airlines who do flights to Menorca that it doesn't become too quiet as the economic downturn starts to bite!

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