As a visitor to Puerto Pollensa for some two months each year, I have followed your recent articles and letters on the Port with interest, and must agree with most of the points raised.
The attraction of P.P. has always been that it has maintained a Spanish character, untainted by rampant commercialism, but unless the Council maintain strict planning controls, this aspect is going to suffer. The introduction of a Burger King on the front line is completely out of keeping with the nature of the resort, and if any further brash American fast food chains are introduced to the town, these should only be sited away from the front, or the main square. The main square itself does need to be improved greatly, possibly by paving over the grass patches, and providing containers for flowers or shrubs, and it is to be hoped that neither the Hostal Borras, or the Circulo Cultural will be demolished to make way for modern buildings.
There has been a great increase in the number of supermarkets on the Paseo Saralegui, and they, together with other shops, tend to display goods on the narrow pavement, forcing pedestrians to walk onto the road, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed by oncoming traffic.
The pavements in the town need steam cleaning as they have become very dirty , and they are constantly being fouled by the excrement from dogs which roam the streets. A couple of dog wardens to round up these animals would assist in obviating this nuisance. Building work, particularly in the main streets, should be halted for the tourist season. Pavements are blocked off, and roads frequently closed to allow building materials and cement to be delivered to these sites, creating considerable traffic congestion, and tourists do not wish to be on holiday in the middle of a building site.
The pedestrian promenade is a great asset to the port, but more steps should be taken to prevent cyclists from using it, weaving in and out between people walking along. There used to be entertainers and artists on this stretch, and these considerably added to the atmosphere, possibly some should be allowed back under licence.
I trust that the Council will bear in mind all the points raised in your paper, and will spend some money in tidying up the town, a considerable amount has been used on developments in the old town in recent years to good effect.
It's 2003 Balearics should worry about
Over the past fortnight I have enjoyed my family holiday in Port de Pollenca, as I have done so for six out of the last seven years.
I have read with interest the main articles and readers' letters concerning tourism and the expected shortfall of 1million tourists this year.
I think that the shortfall, will be nothing compared to the number of tourists not coming in 2003.
The EcoTax issue has been most unpopular as it is seen as a Direct tax on them which of course it is and surely someone in the Balearics regional government could have found a scheme to raise this money by other nondirect means. Hoteliers and apartment owners also resent being forced to be unpaid tax collectors.
However, in my personal view, I have found that blatant overpricing as a result of the introduction of the Euro will force many travellers, including myself, to look to other areas for our summer holidays. I am an accountant by profession and when comparing prices to last year, increases of 20 40% are commonplace. An ice cream which was 550 pta last year is now 4.25 euro a coffee with milk which was 150 pta is now 1.50 euro, and the list goes on and on.
The local minimarket chains such as Spar offer poor value compared to supermarket chains. The problem for most self catering holidaymakers is that they have to shop locally and pay a heavy price for the privilege. That also happens of course in the UK, but in Puerto Pollensa the difference can be 100% in the case of what one might regard as holiday essentials such as beer, carbonated drinks and mineral water.
I think local economies, such as Puerto Pollensa, are already suffering, there are a large number of shops available to let, and some have been vacant for over one year.
Having always felt that Majorca, (and Minorca) offers very good value for money, I now feel just the opposite. The Balearics will struggle to keep its tourism even at today's figures because even those of us who have been coming back year after year will not put up with overcharging. People will vote with their feet.
The statistics you showed in Saturdays' paper illustrate that this is already happening. The answer is in the hands of the local politicians and business people. The Balearic government should abolish the Eco Tax just like Margaret Thatcher had to do with the poll tax and business people should realise that tourists are not going to stand for overcharging. Failure to act now, will I fear, start a decline that will be hard to stop.
Puerto Pollensa is a wonderful place, so let's stop knocking it
Having returned from 2 weeks holiday in Puerto Pollensa, I have been reading with interest the many letters regarding the resort.
Although not a great fan of fast food restaurants, what I wouldn't have given for one several years ago when my daughter was younger and we spent 14 evenings checking menus to make sure they served burger and chips (the only thing she ate all holiday). At the end of the day, these restaurants are for the locals as well (youngsters the World over want to eat in them) and whether we like it or not they are here to stay so let's stop complaining.
I originate from Pinner in Middlesex and I remember the uproar when McDonalds opened a restaurant, in what was considered an area where McDonalds was not suitable (snob element). But even my 78 year old mother eats in there now.
I have been visiting (with my family) Puerto Pollensa for 13 years and although we did have a nasty experience with sewage last year whilst swimming in the sea (didn't venture in much this year), I am hoping that as promised in the Bulletin (interview with Mayor) the blue flag will be flying again next year.
We did find a lot of dog excrement in certain places and I think the Council need to fine dog owners for letting their dogs foul the pavements. Also have patrols and fine holiday makers for dropping litter.
But all above said, nowhere is perfect and Puerto Pollensa is still a wonderful place, so let's stop knocking it!!!
Body recovered from marina
We were unfortunate to witness the recovery of a body from the marina in front of our Palma hotel, on Monday 29th July 2002. It appeared to have been found by holidaymakers, so my heart goes out to those people, who have probably had their holiday severely blighted.
We have been searching for information concerning the incident, but to no avail.
Being aware of the increasing incidences of crime on the island, can you truthfully tell us if the death was due to foul play? I would also like to convey my condolences to the family of the deceased.
Yours, with gratitude,
Ed. As far as we have been informed by the police there was no foul play involved. Thank you for your concern.