Dear Tiffany,
We are all regular touring cyclists to Majorca. This year when we arrived at Palma airport we found all the access roads have been transformed into motorways on which we are not allowed to cycle. In the past one of the great attractions has been the possibility to set off from the airport on our bikes. This year we found ourselves trapped at the airport with no information, or sign posts for cyclists. I have seen that you mention cycling as a growth market for winter tourism. Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a cycling information sheet which could be printed in the media.


Frank Morris, Torquay, By e-mail.

Dear Mr Morris,
As you might know more than 100'000 bicycles pass through the Son Sant Joan airport each year. To cater for the cycling community, the airport authorities therefore provide a unique range of services such as special carousel, trolleys and dedicated staff. From what I have been able to find out, there has never been a special access track for bicycles leaving the airport, but one is now projected, and should be ready for the next cycling season. For more information please fax your questions to the airport authorities at number 00 34 971 789 010.

Dear Tiffany,
Please could you give us bar owners in the Magalluf area in layman's terms the correct rules and regulations on “pub crawls,” as it is that time of the year again when the small bars, who have weathered the storm all winter trying to make ends meet, have to contend with the April/May start of the season and the opening of the bigger bars which are immediately full to the brim with pub crawls. These pub crawls involve a hundred or more people being shepherded along the streets of Magalluf under the orders of tour operator reps. On reaching the designated bars they are then counted by the bar staff and subsequently paid an arranged sum per person the tour rep brings along. We small bar owners are forced to sit in empty bars watching in amazement as the queues form to be counted. What are we to do?

Magalluf small bar owners.

Dear bar owner,
I have done some research into the pub crawls and I can assure you that both your local council and the conselleria de turismo are not only very aware of the problem, but are working hard at finding solutions. From the legal point of view under the current tourism laws, pub crawls are not specifically prohibited. From your local council I have been informed of continuous meetings which are being held with all of the sides involved to try and eradicate this activity. We hope this will happen very soon.

Dear Ms Blackman,
Judging by newspaper reports the Balearics are facing a downturn in tourism. What is your department doing to counter-balance the drop and are you considering promotion campaigns like the ones for Greece and Turkey already showing on British television? I also feel that the Balearics are not getting the message across about the tourist tax and its advantages. Wouldn't it be a good idea for a greater diffusion of your eco-tax website?


Alan Vaughan, Kent, By e-mail.

Dear Mr Vaughan,
The world of tourism is experiencing unprecedented changes which started even before the events of September 11th and because of our leadership position in the holiday business we have not been immune to these changes. At the Balearic tourist office we are working in two very defined directions: In the first, we are continuing to develop our organisation to meet the new communication demands of the 21st century. These include our five-year marketing plan, our new corporate image, our website, product development and new promotional initiatives as well as current media campaigns in our main markets. Secondly we are promoting our added value which other destinations lack, which are safety, close proximity, excellent social infrastructure, and of course familiarity; obviously not forgetting our cultural diversity, heritage sites, incomparable environment, gastronomic delights, beautiful beaches and a wide range of leisure and sporting activities. As for the ecotax, before its introduction the controversy which surrounded it somewhat obscured its purpose. Now, after May 1 we are able to explain to a more receptive audience. You can find a full report in Thursday's edition of the Daily Bulletin.


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