LET me get this right. Calvia want tourists (who are main source of revenue for this island) off terraces by 11pm every night of the week. Palma wants people in shops up to midnight on a Thursday. It could only happen here in Majorca.
Ian Morrison, Porto Colom
DEAR SIR, I HAVE often read about your personal crusade to change one of the most endearing aspects of Majorcan life the rejection of a 24/7 shopping and dining culture - which eats away at family and personal time. In advocating extended shop opening times I never seem to see research evidence that proves consumers spend more as a result. Show me some empirical evidence? Do island residents really want to change their shopping behaviour in this way? Will businesses really improve their net profits after additional overheads have been covered? Do tourists really want this? Show me the money.
I live in Palma and as far as I can see most cruise ships have left port by the early evening. If they build a shopping centre in the port as you were only advocating in yesterday's paper there will be even less incentive to visit the city centre. Most shops are open until 8.00pm with the likes of El Corte Inglés staying open even longer. I'm not convinced four hours extra shopping time will revive retailer's net profits. I have no doubt the first few Fever Thursdays' will attract a lot of shopping traffic, but I suspect this will be down to its novelty value which will fade in time - like most novelties. And what about the shop staff, do they get a say or will employers put them under unnecessary pressure to conform. Will they get extra pay for working unsociable hours - will they get extra time off? Do they want this?
Sunday afternoons in Palma are wonderful. You can almost hear a pin drop. The streets are empty and you can stroll around enjoying the marvellous architecture of this beautiful city and quiet streets without getting mowed down by delivery vans, builder's trucks and cars. Residents are away to the beaches or countryside with their families enjoying lunch out away from the city they spend 6 days a week in or enjoying lunch at home. I don't see people wandering the streets looking for restaurants; moreover there are few people out and about because they are relaxing elsewhere. I've never had a problem finding somewhere to eat on a Sunday anyway perhaps you'd like to buy me Sunday lunch sometime I'll choose the restaurant. The tourist resorts are all open, Portixol is bustling and I see enough restaurants struggling to fill their tables on a Friday and Saturday night, so again I can't see how extending their opening hours will help. Let Majorca choose the lifestyle it wants. It is one that most visitors to this island envy as theirs has been destroyed by the 24/7 lifestyle they often come on holiday to get away from. Don't destroy a culture that respects family and personal time and recognises that everyone needs time-off together.
Andy Pratt, Palma