OVER the last four months the new local government has spent plenty of time talking about relaunching the tourist industry and giving the impression of a real crisis situation. I have spent the last 16 days being a tourist in Majorca, an experience which I have greatly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone. There are problems within our principal industry but they are not fundamental ones and could easily be resolved. I have seen thousands of tourists, especially in the north of the island, and they all appear to be having a very good time. In fact, I have seen so many British holidaymakers that I've found that my Spanish has become distinctly rusty! The people are certainly coming to Majorca but what is needed now is a bit of imagination and offer something different. Pollensa market is a delight because it is different from all the other markets on the island as it offers something other than the usual fake watches, baseball caps and alleged designer clothing. Just how many cafeterias offering British or German style food does the island need? There are literally thousands, half of which appear to be empty. The same can be said for souvenir shops. As anyone who has visited Pollensa or the craft market in Palma will tell you there are some very good local souvenirs but they can only be found in selected places. Why? This island has built an enormous industry around its beaches, there are no excuses for dirty beaches. This is our main selling point and the local authorities should make sure that they are kept up to scratch. In some parts of the island the sea is dirty, full of some rather unsavoury items along with plastic bags and tin cans.
Instead of multi-million euro campaigns, promotion drives, new logos, a major drive should be made to ensure that the beaches are clean, showers and toilets work, and that litter is removed. The Mayor of each of all the major municipalities should be made accountable for the state of their beaches. The Council of Majorca should treble the size of their beach cleaning fleet and surely there must be a better way of removing rubbish than a man with a net which looks as if it was purchased from a souvenir shop. I would advise all those involved in tourism to do exactly the same as I have done over the last 16 days and see Majorca for themselves. There are plenty of faults which have come about as a direct result of under investment and little care. But as I said earlier these are not major faults they can easily be rectified. And once again Majorca should be very proud of its loyal British tourist. Despite the fact that they can go anywhere in the Mediterranean for the same price, they are still coming in force to Majorca. Once again it will be the British who will save the summer season in Majorca. It would be nice if the powers-that-be in the Balearic government took this state of affairs into account. While there is plenty of talk about the German market, little is said about the British. I am not asking for the President of the Balearic government, Jaume Matas, to get on his knees and thank British tourists personally but a thank you to the British now and again wouldn't go amiss. I am pleased to report that my initial fears of an industry in terminal decline have proved unfounded. All that the tourist industry needs is a lick of paint and a bit of common sense.