THE following are letters responding to comments in this column by Graham Phillips of Palma on 10 & 12 November regarding rent-a-car charges and more broadly, all-inclusive tourism on Majorca.
Dear Sir,
Mr. Phillips, in his original letter,specifically highlighted the “cheapness” of car rental on Majorca , to which I answered (DB 11 Nov). He now widens the argument to include the current attack on “all-inclusivenes”, cheap meals, (Menus del dia), cheap package tours, in general, moaning about the “quality” of the tourists who take advantage of these amenities. He also says, without any real proof, that “golfers and yacht owners spend on average TEN TIMES as much as package tour visitors”. Well, as golfer myself, I agree that green fees are exhorbitantly high, but recognise that supply and demand reigns (as in most things). Golfers also, do spend more, at the nineteenth! But Yachties? I doubt whether they contribute one tenth as much as other tourists. They are mostly content to lounge on their “gilded floating palaces” sipping French champagne and other delicacies brought with them and stowed aboard, while surveying “the rabble” on shore through binoculars! Seriously, yacht owners and golfers can only bring infinitesimal prosperity to Majorca compared to the vast bulk of visitors and again, I am afraid that however many times Mr. Phillips rails against “cheap package tourists”, it is an undeniable fact that they have brought great prosperity to the Balearics and the Peninsula. In an ideal world, quality would be preferable to quantity, but alas, reality must reign over idealism, at least as far as Majorca is concerned.
Phil Green,Son Ferrer
Dear Sir,
I totally agree with the comments made by Graham Phillips. Majorca should be trying to sell its natural assets along with regional cuisine etcetera. All-inclusive holidays only sell what is on offer inside the confines of the hotel. The majority of the holidaymakers on these types of holiday rarely venture outside and hardly ever sample local food etcetera, and on returning home will no doubt moan about the facilities on offer and will never return. As he rightly describes, it is the “cheapness” of these holidays that sells them, and this does not help your local economy! Your Island offers almost everything that a normal tourist could wish for, and at a reasonable cost, so drop the all-inclusive trade and concentrate on its natural beauty and assets to attract more lucrative trade. Although I visit your Island at least a couple of times each year I am also lucky enough to take winter holidays in Fuertenventura where the tourist trade is booming. Each and every night the local cafes and restaurants are full of locals and tourists alike: this is an Island that to my knowledge only offers all-inclusive in those hotels that are isolated, similar to locations like the Alcudia Pins, but certainly not in the established holiday resorts. Regarding the car hire situation, I wonder when the last local person hired a car! I would have thought that in excess of 99.9 percent of all cars hired are by tourists or foreign visitors, therefore this extra tax is to payed almost entirely by outsiders, another “tourist tax”.
Nick Winter, by e-mail.

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