By Jason Moore
ANOTHER golden opportunity lost. On Thursday Real Mallorca face Newcastle in the UEFA Cup and the local team are travelling to Tyneside. What a great occasion and an ideal opportunity to promote the island as a major tourist destination. This is nothing new for the Tynesiders who have used football to attract investment on numerous occasions. Many of the Japanese and Korean companies who invested in the North East were all partly persuaded to do so through a trip to St. James' Park. But Mallorca's delegation to Tyneside on Thursday will consist of the team, a group of journalists and a handful of fans. That's it. It's an ideal opportunity to have a tourism road show which could clearly underline all Majorca's attributes, the developments which have taken place and also a welcoming smile. Two large ensaimadas and a folk dance troop washed down with a couple bottles of hierbas would do the trick. But no. One thing is football and the other is tourism. Although Mallorca's form has not been great of late it is still a very useful promotion weapon. Imagine the effect on Newcastle if Majorca's tourism officials turned up on Tyneside with the tourism ambassador, Michael Douglas. It would really be a coup. How the travel industry is at the moment I don't feel that the island can miss the slightest opportunity to get the words Majorca, tourist destination in the headlines. Well if Mallorca do progress perhaps they will learn their lesson. When Mallorca were in the final of the Cup Winners' Cup final played in Villa Park in Birmingham first years ago, a similar state of affairs happened. I would have thought by now the local tourism authorities would have learnt their lesson. Sadly, they haven't.

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