By Jason Moore
THE Palma city council is busy congratulating itself on the fact that the number of cruise ships visiting the port of Palma has reached an all time record, meanwhile shopkeepers in Palma say that their takings have fallen by eight percent.

The council claims that on average cruise line passengers spend at least 80 euros while they are in port, but where exactly are they spending this money? Not in local shops if the official figures are to be believed. Eight percent is quite a hefty fall so obviously the boom in cruise ships has made little difference at all to the retail sector in the city. There are some official figures I would like to know the answer to. How many cruise ship passengers actually come ashore when they are in Palma? And of those passengers how many actually spend any money?

Well we know for a fact that cruise ship passenger spending is low on a Sunday for obvious reasons (shops and restaurants are closed). Now, the Port of Palma is making serious money thanks to the enormous mooring fees which are charged. But who else is really benefiting? However, I don´t blame the cruise ships for this state of affairs. It is the fault of the local authorities who seem unable to cash in on this lucrative market. Other ports make a real effort, in Palma it is always a question of luck. What about discount coupons for local shops for cruise passengers? The idea could even be extended to local restaurants. Come on Majorca just wake-up before it is too late.

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