NOW that the dust has settled perhaps the time has come to analyse the local government's controversial deal with Michael Douglas. There is still plenty of doom and gloom within the tourist industry and summer bookings to the Balearics are down by 30 percent. I would have thought that now would have been an ideal time for Douglas to swing into action and do his bit promoting the Balearics. But not a word. Despite plenty of hype during last month's World Travel Market in London where the deal was signed, sealed and delivered little has appeared about the deal of the century in the international press. I have seen just two articles; one in the Financial Times (which was rather vague) and the another in the Scotsman. I think you can safely say that the local government thought that the deal in London would be reported across the globe. In fact it didn't even make the London newspapers. Douglas is effectively getting 4.4 million euros from the Balearic government in exchange for his Costa Nord cultural centre and his services. However, he is only promoting the islands at travel fairs and he has agreed to do two international media interviews. It is nowhere near a full-time job and I find myself thinking that perhaps, like the opposition says, the local government has made a mistake. Let's get one thing clear; Douglas is a paid-up ambassador but there are many strings attached, the most obvious is his deal with Bermuda. Unless the local government can come up with tangible evidence that Douglas is doing a good job for the islands the deal will always be controversial to say the least. Next time the Hollywood star is in Majorca perhaps it would be a good idea if Balearic President Jaume Matas had a word in his ear. The Balearics need results and that was the one reason why Douglas was contracted.


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