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Early rental bookings down in the Balearics

Tourist bookings in the Balearics are down by between 10% and 20%, according to the latest figures. This is the biggest fall that the Balearic tourism sector has suffered in 20 years.

Minorca is doing the worst, with British visitor bookings down 20%, and Germans down 15%. Mall orca is doing only slightly better, with British visitors down 15% and Germans down 10%.

Even Ibiza, the most popular of the islands, has seen bookings from British tourists fall by 12%, and Germans down 10%.

Aurelio Vazquez, President of the Association of Hotel Chains, said members are reporting up to 20% falls in bookings. Although there are no separate figures available for villas and apartments they tend to follow the same trend.

The only segment bucking the trend is all inclusive hotel deals where bookings are up slightly.

However a spokesman for the tourism office in Ibiza town said it is hoped that many people will late to the last minute to book their accommodation. It is also hoped that a new budget route with Ryan air from Leeds to Ibiza this week will help bookings.

'We believe that Ibiza still offers value for money and in these price conscious times we don't think holidaymakers will desert us. They may just leave it until the last minute to book in anticipation of rock bottom prices,' he said.