A few days ago I was talking to a senior official on the Palma city council about how to make Palma more attractive to winter tourists. I said that one of the biggest problems was that the majority of shops were not able to open on a Sunday because of tough trade laws. Some progress has been made with shops in the Jaime III area being given the green light to open their doors for business on a Sunday but shops in other areas are banned. I suggested that new legislation should be introduced which would allow shop owners to open when they wanted rather than when the council allows them. She looked at me in horror and said that the smaller shops would not be too impressed. Now, I understand that the Palma city council has a duty to protect smaller shops from the onslaught by their larger counterparts but the smaller stores shouldn’t be allowed to dictate council policy. We need tourists in the winter and the only way that we are going to get them is if a substantial number of bars, shops, and restaurants are open on a Sunday. You can’t promote Palma as a getaway holiday destination if everything is closed. If you travel to cities on the mainland, you will find that a considerable number of shops are open for business at the weekend and also they close late at night. It is time that the new city council addressed the issue of shop opening hours. If Palma is ever to be a winter holiday destination then we need the shops open.

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