By Jason Moore THE other day I was related this story by a Palma taxi driver: “Every Sunday two cruise ships (with about 3'000 passengers aboard) come into Palma. At least half disembark and many head to the taxi rank asking the driver to take them to the shops. The driver replies that there is a problem. What do you mean,? says the passenger, can´t you take us there?

No, it is not that, replies the cabbie, the problem is that all the shops are closed. You can´t be serious replies the passenger; I am afraid so, says the cabbie. At that point the passenger returns to the ship, severely disappointed.” That I am afraid to say goes a long way to explaining what is wrong with the Balearic tourist industry at the moment. It is quite amazing that shops refuse or are not allowed to open despite the fact that they have 3'000 would-be punters desperate to find souvenirs. It is not rocket science, shops just need to be open. So what is the problem? I am afraid to say that it lies with some short-sighted public officials and local business people who are continuing with their old ways. The time has come for a complete re-think. It does need millions of euros, it is just common sense. Until the shop situation is resolved Majorca can forget being a getaway weekend holiday destination.