IT is quite incredible how successive local governments have failed miserably in trying to diversify the Balearic economy. Little has changed in thirty years and tourism continues to be our lifeblood. These days, I think you can safely say, that tourism is not as popular as it once was.
Although we effectively live from tourism I get the impression that a growing section of the community would really like to see a decline in visitor numbers. This is quite a normal reaction and perhaps the time has come for an all out attempt to attract new businesses to the island so that we are not so dependent on the package holidaymaker. I think it is a great shame that the technology park project, next to the university, has effectively been shelved. The idea was a good one; attract high technology companies to the island taking advantage of its great climate and good living conditions. Majorca is well linked, thanks to tourism, with the rest of Europe. Perhaps the new local government, who were the driving force behind the technolgy park when they were in office from 1995 to 1999 could revive the project. The Balearic economy is at a watershed. Despite a record number of tourists this year the econony will only grow by a meagre 0.3 percent this year. It wasn't too long ago that the economy was growing at five percent a year. So in other words tourism is no longer as profitable for the Balearics as it once was. The time has come for change. Unfortunately apart from tourism there is little other industry which could be developed on the island at the moment.
But with a little imagination and the same enthusiasm which was used to build the tourist industry into one of the best in the world I am sure that the Balearics can succeed in attracting new industry to the islands.