I read with interest the article headed "Its Better to have Tourists than None At All, Even if they have Spent Less" in Sunday/Monday’s Bulletin following an interview with Calvia Councillor for Tourism, Eugenia Frau.
I find it incredible that anyone could begin to see this years tourist season as remotely successful.
Speak to many of the business owners in Palma, Arenal, Magalluf, and even in Ibiza; business down, shorter season, fewer jobs and profits massively down; right across the board.
So, the hotels are full. This is so blinkered, and when further examined is seriously damaging this islands longer term image and prospects on the International Tourism stage.
So, what about the bigger picture?
Further into the article I see that Councillor Frau is proud of her statement that this years annual Tourism Show Season, starting in London at World Travel Market; (WTM) is to be fronted by a Majorca campaign focussing on Winter, and specifically Sports Tourism.
So, let me get this right. WTM; which by the way I have worked at for many years, and is predominantly a Trade Event with very few consumers attending, and our tax Euros are being spent on niche consumer marketing! Unbelievable! Stupidity would be an understatement!
This show along with ITB in Berlin are the perfect opportunities to meet major tourism contractors and suppliers and impact on the Airlines, large Tour Operators, Service Providers. And we are selling a niche Sporting Destination? Sports Tourism will always be a low number niche. Nothing more.
Further into the interview I find Councillor Frau spouting about Chess festivals, Dance Sport Challenges and Bird Watching! Fair enough promoting niche hobby activities, but is this really something we need on these island’s as a Trade Show platform to solve the intrinsic and serious problems effecting mass market tourism?
Talk about missing the point. Can you imagine the look on a Major Airline CEO’s face when presented with this International Marketing Campaign; Chess festival’s and bird watching..... designed to promote our beautiful islands at a Major International Trade Show?
Moving on let’s further examine this year’s tourist season:
Our Tourism Chief thinks this year is a resounding success. "More tourists spending less" and we are supposed to be celebrating. How naive and frankly insulting.
Could you imagine any commercial business celebrating a considerable reduction in average customer spending?
Let’s be honest, this season has been a total disaster for most excluding the down market fully inclusive hotels.
Are we to believe "more tourists spending less" is the answer to Majorca’s current tourism problems?
More tourists spending less means Majorca will continue to serve the bottom end of the Market. This will fuel all the problems we see in the larger resorts. More people equals MORE WATER consumed. MORE CRIME, MORE POLICE needed, MORE AMBULANCE and HOSPITAL resource needed, MORE WASTE produced, MORE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE, with LESS REVENUE, LESS PROFIT, LESS INDUSTRY JOBS, and Majorca moving more and more down market.
This is a real long term problem. Add to this:
Mugging’s by African prostitutes are UP this season, drugs are more openly for sale in the bigger resorts than ever before this season. More and more African sellers of fake branded goods..... and some dreadful press reports in the foreign media.
And this is a success?
I would be interested to learn of the Calvia Tourism Ministers past experience in Tourism; in Commercial Management and International Trade Show Sales and Marketing?
These islands have no cohesive short or long term tourism policies. No joined up thinking reflecting the long term aims of tourism. And it seems, no one at the helm who has the slightest idea of how to market this wonderful holiday destination for the good of the many.
If what we want here in Majorca is a down market tourist destination full of shabby old hotels and bar’s full of drunk drugged up kids spending very little cash outside of their hotels, then yes, this season has been a resounding success!