THE other day I was talking to some British tourists who had arrived in Palma aboard a cruise ship. I was rather stunned by what they told me; at least half the passengers on their ship (about 1'000) didn´t even bother getting off in Palma. They explained that as many were elderly they preferred to stay aboard and enjoy the comforts of the ship. Granted from their ship 14 coaches left with passengers on excursions and there was a free shuttle bus to the centre of Palma. But, you get the impression from the local authorities that every time a cruise ship arrives 2'000 big-spending holidaymakers disembark on a major shopping spree. Afraid not. I don´t blame the cruise line passengers I blame local authorities for not doing enough to cash-in on this market and ensure that the majority of passengers do go ashore even if it is just down the gang-plank to a market, shopping area set-up on the quayside. So the next time you see those fantastic statistics on the number of cruise line passengers who have come to Palma, remember that it could be only half the number if not less. The same can be said for the airport figures, remember that there are a sizeable number of passengers who are just passing through on route to other places. Watch those figures they don´t reflect the true story!