FOR many years now I have been taking a swipe at local shopkeepers over their opening hours. I have always felt that it was extraordinary that while Majorca is a popular weekend getaway destination few of the shops in the city centre open on a Saturday afternoon and ofcourse Sunday is completely out of bounds. But I am glad to report that there is some good news on this front. The President of the Majorcan Tourism Board, Alvaro Middlemann, and the city council agree; more must be done to persuade shopkeepers to have more flexible working hours. Yesterday, I interviewed Mr. Middlemann, and he praised the efforts of the council and said that perhaps shopkeepers could actually employ students as part-time sales staff so that they could increase their opening hours. A similar system has been used successful in Britain. The advent of the low cost airlines means that there are literally thousands of people who could be coming to Majorca on shopping expedition at the weekend if only the shops were open. The city council has recently started its Palma 365 days campaign, in an effort to boost the all year round attraction of the city. Middlemmann also said that they are working to try and increase winter tourism which is all good news for the island. He said that there are many challenges ahead but he certainly seems to be on the right wavelength.
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