Dear Sir,
I was most interested in your article on January 11 2002 re winter holidays in closed resorts. We visit your island 3/4 times each year between the end of October and the end of March. As you can see we were last on the island on the 11th of this month and my partner is returning on the 28th of this month for four days with her friend.

I am staying at home painting.
With regard to your remarks in the above article, we along with many of our friends agree with you.
However, we also think it goes a little deeper.
With regard to promotion of the island we see very few adverts in England for winter holidays in Majorca, but many for Benidorm.
If you were to visit Benidorm today you would find it very busy, not with young people but our senior citizens.
While it's warmer than England, it's about the same as in Majorca, so it can't be this that's a problem.
As Benidorm is about the same flying time as Majorca, this cannot be counted as a problem.
Things I can see that make people want to visit Bendiorm rather than Majorca are, as you say, shops, cafes and entertainment are all closed.
But more important those that are open charge far more than those in Benidorm. As an example, the cheapest breakfast I have found in Benidorm was/is 95 ptas. The average price is 175 ptas.

In general all food prices are much lower than Majorca, this includes drinks, tea and coffee, 100 ptas, beer 150 ptas. The average price of beer is 150 ptas a pint.

In general all costs are much lower in Benidorm than in Majorca. I am aware that shipping costs are involved in the costs on Majorca, but should not make the difference we see between the two resorts.

Best wishes and kind thoughts,

Chris Wilson. By email.

The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is said to be one of the most healthy in the world. A combination of fresh vegetables, fruit and virgin olive oil are a recipe for long life, according to boffins. It may be healthy but it is fast food from far from these shores which is winning the battle for top dish among young people.

The hamburger culture, absent from Majorca 20 years ago, has now overtaken the more traditional dishes and goes from strength to strength. Aggressive marketing has helped to establish this new trend. But is it healthy?

Not as much as the traditional diet. But this is where the Spanish government should step-in, promoting the need for a better diet and offering to support the home-grown industry with campaigns which can be just as aggressive as those of the large chains. Majorca's limited farming industry would probably welcome such a drive. The local government has tried to promote local produce and dishes but it has a more “nationalist” flavour and fails to mention that these dishes are part of something much wider known as the Mediterranean diet. If Spain is not careful there is a danger that it could become like Northern Europe and the United States where the number of people who are overweight continues to grow. Doctors always said that a balanced diet is one of the main needs for a healthy life. In Majorca we have the perfect diet and it is just a shame that more people don't take more notice of it and ensure that fresh vegetables, fruit and virgin olive oil do not have a more prominent role on their shopping list.

Jason Moore


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