As someone who has worked with the Tourist industry worldwide I enjoy the regular articles on tourism issues in the MDB. However, like Tom Leeming in his article in last Tuesday’s MDB and previous contributions, I have many frustrations and concerns about how the tourist industry in Majorca is managed and organised.
Topics such as few winter flights; a desire to curtail All Inclusive hotel holidays; a desire to regulate/curtail private rentals; hotel and retail opening times, and more, are all interesting and important but they are manifestations of something seriously flawed. From my experience in the tourist industry these issues remind me of two phrases in strategic marketing speak; the tourist industry in Majorca is looking at their world of problems’ …through the wrong end of the telescope’ and would-be decision makers are ‘in amongst the weeds’ or if you prefer, ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’.
What factors drive a successful tourist destination?
A vibrant private sector - All private sector companies, regardless of size, seek market opportunities that create sales, customers and profit. These private companies may publicly proclaim that their main focus is on providing customer satisfaction, but the over-riding requirement is that this is achieved at a profit to their business.
Successful mass tourist destinations – These have one commonality, they offer multiple choice and variety of all things related to tourism. Something for everyone from cheap and cheerful to high quality up-market, do nothing – do everything, niche specialisms, and so on and so on. The more choice and variety there is available, the more private sector companies will be attracted to it.
From the above, it is easy to see why Majorca no longer has a significant winter tourism season. Close the place and the private companies don’t market it.
The role of government – is to facilitate and stimulate as well as regulate. If these dimensions get out of balance then problems will arise. The recent clamour on the back of the new Greek Government initiative to regulate future All Inclusive development is crazy in the extreme. The Greek Government would be better facilitating and stimulating the wider tourist industry and seeking new, and more choice and variety.
All players are on the same boat working on one common goal, to ensure a successful tourist industry. This team mentality has to be worked at because each sector has an innate ‘silo’ perspective and if mechanisms are not put in place they will have minimal and only when necessary, cross-over and integration. Government and the whole of the industry must have mechanisms in place to engage and communicate.
I could say much more on all of these issues but I hope my message is clear, unless Majorca tourism industry holistically addresses the problems it has, it would appear to be seriously flawed. Allow me to pick one specific example, Andrew Ede’s Blog of 20 January referred to a meeting of, ‘Representatives of Cala d’Or hotel association and vice-president of the Majorcan Hoteliers Federation …met with the Mayor of Santanyi…’ This is a seriously flawed circumstance. Such meetings should engage ALL the tourism players in Cala d’Or, ALL representative bodies in the area. Only by doing this will a balanced consensus emerge.
A comprehensive research study is needed to engage the views of representative bodies in Majorcan Tourism and from this a cluster of industry forums can be established to regenerate and develop Majorca tourism into the future. Such an initiative should be jointly funded by Regional Government and industry associations so that ALL have invested in the process and outcome. This is not a new or unique construct, most developed tourist regions have such research and forums.
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