I have just returned from my third holiday in the Balearics this summer and my 25th visit to Majorca in 20 years. I stayed in Santa Ponsa and travelled the island so I got a good feel for what was happening. I read your publication regularly both on the net and when I am on the island and I am amused at the reports from politics and such like when they act baffled as to why tourist numbers are down! I arrived in Palma only to be kept waiting for 45 minutes by the car hire company which I hadn't used before and will not be using again whether I come again or not. It was raining which I feel is something that the politicians and business people need to bear in mind when forecasting for the future because if this year's weather is anything to go by it has changed for the worst climatically. I arrived in Santa Ponsa to find that blue lines had appeared everywhere and that even if I had wanted to pay I could only park for 2 hours maximum. I saw more dogs mess in my first few hours than ever before in my life and generally felt that the place had changed since my first memories in the early eighties when there was no dog mess you could park your car anywhere literally and the place was generally more welcoming. During the visit I went to several attractions as we always do only to find that with the euro and rounding up it has become as expensive as Disneyworld, Florida!! My advice to the Balearic Tourist Board is employ some British advisors not tour companies but independent consultants who will not advise for the benefit of themselves but for the British tourist and tell them to invest in a trip to Torquay and Blackpool and the likes to see where we used to holiday 20 years ago and see what has happened to these resorts when they became complacent. Oh and remind them that Turkey, Cyprus, Dubai, Dominican and many other resorts can be visited for less money and they do not charge to park the car! They need to wake up.
We recently spent a pleasant two weeks on Majorca and several times read your publication. We noticed that there was currently an aim to raise the profile of Majorca abroad to encourage more visitors. Bearing this in mind, one area which could be improved is the handling of postcards by the postal services. Like many, we sent about a dozen postcards during our stay to various relatives and friends. The minimum time it has taken for these to arrive has been 15 days from the date of posting. If we had known this, there is no way we would have wasted our money buying and sending these cards since obviously not one of them arrived before we returned, despite having sent the first ones almost as soon as we arrived. Since Majorca has countless international flights a day, there is no excuse for this delay. We can only think that the post office must stockpile them and send them in batches on an infrequent (fortnightly it would seem!) basis. We would be interested to know if there is an explanation for this.
Your perceptive editorial of Saturday, Oct. 12 (That's Rich) enjoys the correct focus of The Year of Our Lord (and politicians) 2002. If it fails at all - and I doubt that - it is perhaps because politicians, necessarily, are often incapable of seeing beyond the next election. When Majorca's own travel-writing Temple Fielding was decorated by 26 foreign nations (Spain included) it was because he generated millions of new customers for the emerging European tourist industries. At that period an insignificant smattering of unexpected prosperity burgeoned into a global gross national product that soon paralleled the income of the armaments and food industries. What else could a politician do but embrace this good fortune, nurture it, and take pride in the goose that laid a golden egg in the lap of every European treasurer? While the solons gloated, professionals of travel began to study the needs and vectors of demography and economy. They became aware of the social reformations taking place and they carefully created programs so that tourists and native residents could harmonize their interests and benefit from them mutually. There exist volumes on how to bring together the so-called elitist (probably meant to be pejorative in its early stages) elements and the ecological zealots, the swanky yachtsman/woman and the cycle-riding groupies who dine in rubber pants. The modern students of tourism do not experience the waves of bigotry that politicians follow in surges of good or bad economy, in times of need or abundance, and in hunger of extra seats in the halls of their various congresses. The problem on this island is that the politicians are either ignorant of the solutions that already exist among today's professionals or they don't care to investigate beyond the boundries of their personal terms of office. It is regretful that the electorate may know even less and thus the pendulum of politics is doomed to swing from one desperate salvation to another. Ain't it frustrating? I am sure your keen observations are more appreciated by students of travel rather than short-term legislators.
Please do not knock Majorca because of a few surly supermarket employees, myself and my husband have been visiting Majorca/Magalluf for the last 15 yrs. The first time we had booked a holiday for Magalluf friends were saying to us you must be mad it's a lager louts paradise, I have to say that I was worried but we found the people friendly and honest, and they still are to-day, yes we did have a holiday there this year and, like every other tourist, we paid the Eco-Tax and we had ours refunded in the form of a voucher to spend in the Hotel. Even if this did not happen we would still be willing to pay it, it's part and parcel of our holiday. We have had many a good time in Magalluf and no we are not night birds, wherever we visit the staff have been more than friendly, so we will still be going back again and again. Thank you to Magalluf for making our holidays enjoyable.