THE Balearic Business Association poured a rather big bucket of cold water over the cruise ship bonanza which the Port of Palma is enjoying at the moment. There is a perception that all cruise ship passengers have small fortunes to spend when they come ashore. But the business association claimed that while cruise ship passengers are more than welcome in Palm a their spending power leaves alot to be desired. A considerable number of passengers don´t actually leave their ships when they dock in Palma. The all-inclusive food and drink buffet is a major incentive for people to stay aboard. I know it sounds incredible, especially as Palma is such a beautiful place, but it is true. Some will go on prepaid excursions and others will wander into town. One taxi driver told me that cruise ship passengers spend less than your average package tourist. He told me that one group of Italians spent just one euro on a bottle of water from a supermarket which they shared between twelve and then walked back to their ship! I have always felt that Majorca is missing a trick when it comes to cruise ships. Sunday is the day when the most number of cruise ships come to Palma but unfortunately only a few shops are open. The massive Porto Pi shopping centre, close to the docks, is always closed on a Sunday. Perhaps for next summer Majorca can find away to get our “floating tourists” spending their money in Palma. It shouldn´t be too difficult.
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