Blissfully located in the Mediterranean and less than two hours flight time from the UK, Menorca has carved herself a niche and is known for peaceful family holidays, while her sister Balaeric islands of Mallorca and Ibiza are busier – and some would say definitely noisier!
But like any other holiday destination, tourism plays an important part in Menorca’s economy, and she wants to maintain and if possible improve on the number of visitors as Europe’s economy follows the U.S. in a downturn.
The good news for Menorca as the summer season approaches is that new routes from the important UK market have started, making Menorca not only more accessible but likely to bring the cost of a flight to Menorca down due to increased competition.
Britian’s biggest low cost airline easyJet now have four UK airports serving Menorca’s Mahon airport, the all important London Gatwick, Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport serving the North West of England, notbaly both Liverpool and Manchester, Bristol for the South West and Wales, and Newcastle for the North East of England.
The good news for those thinking of taking a holiday in Menorca who live in London and her Home Counties is that the low cost airline’s departure and arrival times for Mahon Airport from Gatwick have improved a fair bit, and instead of arriving on the island close to midnight, the summer schedule sees flights depart Gatwick at either 6am or 6.30pm, depending upon the day of the week, and leave Menorca in time to touch down back in London before lunch time, or late night, allowing flexibility on the same airline not often seen at low prices with no penalty prices to pay for a low cost Menorca flight.
Menorca is also served by two UK airlines that offer scheduled flights apart from the low cost carrier that offers cheap flights to Menorca. But there are a high number of holiday companies who offer chartered flights in the summer months, and these companies have helped reduced prices for holidaymakers visiting the island. Menorca’s closest neighbour Mallorca attracted most UK tourists for 2007, beating off competition from low cost destinations in Eastern Europe, and Menorca has also benefitted last year from an increase in visitor numbers.
Despite their geographical closeness and being part of the same group of islands – the Balearics – Menorca and Majorca attract a different type of tourist from each other, and with Ibiza the third of the islands each has its own appeal, and each her unique selling points when compared to each other.
Ibiza is known in Europe for her clubs and nightlife, with 18 to 30’s and their high disposable incomes preferring the island to quieter Majorca and Menorca. A survey by the island’s tourist board sprung a surpise for many in the hotels and holidays industry with a report showing of the three islands that Ibiza’s visitors spent more on their holidays than those in Majorca and on holiday in Menorca.
Majorca is a favourite holiday island for both the British and Germans, and as well as having a cosmopolitan feel to it offers both nightlife for the young with luxury hotels and villa holidays for older visitors. Plans are in place to build Spain’s top luxury hotel on the island.
The island of Menorca, also known as Minorca, is regarded as the quietest of the three holiday islands, and family orientated, with tourists just as likely to be taking a villa holiday as they are staying in a hotel or holiday apartment. The island is at her best in May and September when the island’s roads are quiet but everyone is geared up for the season.
The new flights will see an increase in holidaymakers from the UK, but tourist authorities will want to make sure Menorca retains her character of a peaceful holiday haven for this summer’s holiday season.
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