I have got a new job for Alistair Campbell. He should forget planning to write his memoirs for the time being and accept the job of head of the new office in London the Balearic government is planning to create to counterbalance bad news stories which allegedly appear in the British media. I would say that the Balearics receives excellent press in Britain and I don't really see the need for such an office especially when all the leading British tour firms have their own large press departments, who also fight the Balearics' corner. But I am also rather intrigued because bad news for some is good news for others. I personally think that the demise of the tourist tax is good news for the Balearics. I don't think that people should have to pay a tax to go on holiday. But there are a number of journalists in Britain working for Fleet Street newspapers who all thought that the tourist tax was good news for the Balearics. Let's not forget that the Guild of British Travel Writers actually gave the tourist tax an award. I was amazed when I was in London with officials from the local ministry for tourism this year who were trumpeting the demise of the tourist tax to a sceptical British media pack. Most of the journalists at the informal gathering were for the tax rather than against it. I was certainly in a minority. So in some media circles the tourist tax was good news and its demise will be given a bad news slant, I suspect. So the first job for this office will be to sell the demise of the tax as good news when just 18 months ago they were doing the exact opposite. Governments may change but journalists don't. The Balearic government is stating that there is no need for the tax because the necessary funding for environmental projects is now coming from Madrid. Fair point but still there are a number of people who believed that the tourist tax was the way forward for Mediterranean tourist resorts. I still maintain that the war of words between the last Balearic government and the tourist industry was bad news for the islands. Some of the statements which were being made by some officials and members of the tourist industry were a headline writer's dream. I respect the new team which is in place at the local ministry of tourism now. They are people who have been heavily involved in tourism for many years and have a wealth of experience. But there are still members of the industry who should measure their words when they make a statement. The word crisis is used a lot in the Spanish language and I would advise against it. What is happening in Iraq is a crisis, I wouldn't say a small drop in German tourism to the Balearics measures up to this word. I have always thought that the Balearics should sell itself as what it is. A paradise in the Mediterranean where everyone is welcome and tourists should be urged to come on down. There are fundamental problems within the industry which need to be resolved but these are not problems which have been manufactured by the media. These are problems which have come about following decades of steady growth and the belief that tourists will always come to Majorca whatever happens. We had enough mud-slinging when the last administration was in power. Enough is enough. It is fashionable to blame the media for everything but don't forget that it takes two to tango. The fact that 2.5 million British tourists came to Majorca is good news. The majority had a great time and will be back next year. That is good news and everything else is spin. There is naturally going to be some bad news but you can't really argue with the figures can you? But without doubt some will. Good news for some is bad news for others.
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