“The long hot summer just passed me by”…these well known lyrics will no doubt ring true for many businesses in the tourist sector as the 2012 summer season draws to a close. While Menorca has delivered on its promise of weeks of hot, sunny weather, stunning beaches, crystal blue seas, wonderful countryside, exciting fiestas and a warm, friendly welcome, it appears that the demographics of its holidaymakers have changed significantly over recent years. Statistics show that the number of travellers through the airport is up but, for the majority, their spending power is dramatically down.
The ongoing depressed state of Menorca’s tourism industry has forced the Island’s Government to look seriously outside what has become the traditional family sun and beach holiday, and consider new tourism initiatives and promotions to different target markets. Menorca’s coveted status as a UNESCO Bisophere Reserve with its picturesque countryside, dramatic coastline, fascinating history and generally temperate climate, make the island a perfect holiday destination for tourists looking to enjoy their favourite leisure activities in relaxed, unspoiled and welcoming surroundings. The following news stories indicate a few ‘green shoots of recovery’ and hopefully the start of better things to come in 2013 for Menorca’s ailing tourism business which is vital to the island’s economy in general.
This winter's schedule for flights to connect Menorca with the mainland will see some airlines increase their service while others withdraw completely, leaving residents unsure about what to expect for the 2012/13 season ahead. Meanwhile, Jet2 announces an increased service for UK holiday makers for summer 2013.
Air Europa stops winter flights: Councillor Luis Alejandre has appealed to Air Europa to reconsider its decision to stop winter flights between Menorca and Barcelona. Air Europa cites a ‘lack of demand’ as the reason for its decision and will stop flights to Barcelona from 29 October until 30 April 2013.
Vueling continues: Following this decision, Vueling announced that it would continue to operate between the two destinations throughout the winter, with a minimum of two flights per day, increasing to three or four connections on peak days (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays) throughout October, then reducing to two flights a day from November.
British Airways Flies Direct to Menorca: City Flyer flights direct to Menorca out of London City Airport, Docklands start on Friday 25 May 2012 with three flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until Friday 28 September. With just a 20 minute check in time required before the flight, passengers can be back home or in the sun in less than three hours. The cost of the flight includes a 23 kg luggage allowance, free on-line check-in and seat selection up to 24 hours before departure as well as complimentary food and drinks on board. One way fares start from €80 to London City Airport and from £79 to Menorca.
UK Holiday Bookings Up On Last Year: Holiday booking to Menorca from the UK are up 8% on 2011, despite the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and economic crisis. However bookings from the UK are down 6% throughout the Balearic Islands in general and down 8% in Spain. The increase has been attributed to agreements signed three years ago with Thomas Cook, Tui and Cosmos (amounting to €3 million)
Easter Flights To The Balearics: A total of 519,043 passengers representing 3,363 flight passed through the Balearic Island airports over the Easter holiday weekend (Wednesday 4 to Monday 9 April 2012). Son Sant Joan airport, Palma recorded a massive 417,206 of these travelers with 2,580 flights, Saturday being the busiest day. Ibiza was second with 73,449 occupied seats on 541 operations of which Thursday was the busiest day. For its part, Menorca received 28,388 visitors on 242 flights. Friday was the busiest day in terms of passengers but Thursday recorded the highest number of flights.
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