Dear Sir,
I would like to comment on the decline in tourists coming to Majorca this year. Why are tourists not coming? Firstly, because it is very expensive for a package family holiday and the new tax has increased this cost to the tourist.

Holidaymakers are turning their back on high priced package holidays and arranging their own holidays to suit themselves, budget no frill airlines now mean holidays are not restricted to one week or two, and with greater choice of flight companies travelling to Majorca it is much cheaper to book direct. Package holidays are very expensive and poor quality, the hotels all complaining of excess capacity this year want to realise that with the demise of the package companies their number of empty rooms will only worsen.

They should ditch the tour operators and advertise on the internet for direct bookings which the majority of people are doing and offer a room only option, like America for instance, which offers tourists more flexibility. The no frills airlines and direct bookings for accommodation, particularly self catering is the growth area and this fact alone will cause huge unemployment in the hotel sector.

Secondly, the coach drivers strike last year added to the hoteliers economic downturn of this year. If you were a tourist with a family and endured the misery and suffering of being stranded at a crowded Palma airport for hours and hours, would you come back to the island the following year? The coach drivers caused their own job losses last year and the decline of the package holidays and rise of the no frills sector this year will ensure they have no future.

Lastly, crime on the island is rising at an alarming rate.
I have been a regular visitor to the island and muggings are constantly occuring and I am always fearful of the carnation sellers harassing tourists, immigrants in groups observing tourists and the lucky lucky men, which combined are all quite intimidating and frightening. The local government needs to take action to arrest such individuals who are driving tourists away.

If the government does not act before next summer, then the situation for Majorca will deepen and unemployment will reach unforseen levels.
A disgruntled holidaymaker.

C. Smith England. By e-mail

Excursions in the Tramuntana

Dear Sir, I n answer to the letter sent by Michael Hounsell about excursions in the Tramuntana information can be obtained from the Consell de Mallorca on telephone number 971-900000.

I and a group of friends came up against the same problem with regard to the Es Cornadors excursion down to Soller where we found the way has been closed. The finca Sarom has a new owner who has encountered various problems with excursion people leaving litter and killing his sheep! He now requests that permission be requested. I believe the telephone number can be obtained from the Soller Town Council and I am in the process of trying to find out.

The Consell has advised me to phone them before embarking on any excursion where you are not absolutely certain that the way is open i.e. where the excursion passes through a private finca as in the case of Sarom.

Yours faithfully,

Jane Pearce. Palma

Increasing hassle in Magalluf

Dear Sir,
Can anything not be done about the number of “Promotion People” who inhabit the Roundabout in Magalluf during daylight hours? The incessant harrassment by these people who in any other country would be dubbed “Time Share Touts” can not be helping tourism at a time when it appears to be hitting a low. Having recently spent a week being harangued to “complete a survey” - comprising of income and whether or not a credit card is carried dulled an otherwise excellent week. According to a local bar owner the authorites are aware of the problem but prefer to fine them a mere 30 Euros a day rather than tackling the problem. Not much considering they receive 60 Euros per couple they persuade to visit their complex.

Majorca Next Year? Maybe - Maybe Not!

Mrs Jo Pitchford. Bolton. Lancashire.

Dodging the cyclists

Dear Sir,
I am writing to protest at the growing use of bicycles on pavements in Calamayor mostly by young people.
During the past year I have been hit twice by cyclists on the pavement, fortunately without serious injury.
Only last week, a youngster had the gall to order me out of the way at a point where the pavement was only six feet wide. I am beginning to think that I would be safer walking in the road as I have found motorists are usually considerate when they see I have a stick particularly on crossings without lights.

The riding of bicycles on the pavements is illegal in Spain as it is in England, the difference being that in the UK police will caution anyone seen riding on the pavement while here they turn a blind eye.

There are plenty of Traffic Police about but they are too concerned with persecuting motorists or, like a friend of mine, who went into the Salvation Army shop to deliver some goods only to return just 10 minutes later to find her car had been ticketed.

It is time that the police issued a statement pointing out that riding bicycles on the pavement is illegal and peaple can be fined for doing so, otherwise, it is only a matter of time before an old person is knocked down and killed by one of these cowboy cyclists.

It is an accident waiting to happen.

F.G. Hall, Major R.E. Rtd. Cala Mayor