It almost goes without saying, that following the Yule-tide and New Year festivities have ended, than the perennial topic of winter tourism, will raise the hackles and polemical columns from the Editor, and his acolytes on the Daily B.,in their annual quest (or inquest!) for an answer to the inevitable question, why is more not done to stimulate winter tourism?. The short response is there is no short term solution. Hoteliers close their premises, Airlines reduce flights, in a tit-for-tat exchange, and so of course, restaurants, bars and shops, likewise follow suit. But, inspite of these negative reactions, there are positive steps to be taken as i shall show.

It was not always thus, when I first settled in the Balearics in 1982, specifically at Minorca, hotels kept their doors open for the large influx elderly Britons tempted by offers they could not resist. It proved cheaper for these O.A.P.s to stay at a centrally-heated hotel that included all meals, entertainment plus a more ambient temperature; all this at half the cost in Britain. Why this happy state of affairs no longer applies has,as far as i am aware, are due to factors unknown to me.

So, what can be done to stimulate winter tourism? Promotion of winter sports is obviously impractical, almost nonexistent, but walking, cycling, and above all,is golf. This last sport is the closest to my heart as a life-long player, well, for almost 50 years, the last 25 here on Majorca, where I met the late Jimmy Rawlings and the late Robbie Sinclair, who attracted many ex-pats to form a Society, known as The Hazards,a name bestowed by resident Professional, Brian Salter, who, on encountering the group for the first time, said they were,with some of their wild strokes, “a danger to life and limb”, in other words, Hazardous. So the name stayed and they may still be seen at Poniente on Wednesdays and Saturdays, swinging away, but with a little more finesse, shall we say.

What has this to do with winter tourism? Well, two of the members some years ago, set up The Majorcan Golf Connection, (offices in Magalluf!) that offers parties of golfers, reasonable rates to play at any course on the Island that wallows freedom of play (One or two are Private). The two are Keith Buckett and John Little, who also arrange hotel or other accommodation, plus organising transport, (cars, taxis sometimes even small buses) to and from the golf courses. As you can see, they are instrumental in bringing large numbers of people to the Island, who in turn add much wealth to the economy. It seems to some, a pity that their activities are not more widely known. I hope by printing this letter it will help.

One other person I think should be included is none other than your very own felicitous scribe Doctor George Giri, whose column is unfailingly my first objective at the weekend. His evocative articles encapsulate Rural Majorca, with calm, considered prose, presenting the countryside, its history, culture, farming, animals, plus the glorious Tramuntana landscapes, highways, by-ways, paths and tracks perfect for those who seek Majorca on foot. Dr. Giri's writings greatly help to foster those pursuits.

I hope these suggestions will kick-start the Winter Tourism so devoutly desired.
Phil Green
El Toro

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