“The British market is vital for Majorca’s tourist industry, it’s our second largest market. It’s what the industry has been built on and has enabled Majorca to become an exemplary tourist destination, boasting some of the leading hotel chains in the world. This is why one of our main campaigns, as we emerge from the Covid pandemic, is to ensure that the British continue to come to Majorca on holiday. We want the British to come home to Majorca,” says Andreu Serra, the Council of Majorca’s councillor for tourism and sport.
The campaign kicks off in London on Tuesday night with a gala presentation in central London. The likes of legendary British cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Mark Cavendish are lending their support to the Council of Majorca’s drive to promote sports tourism and change the island’s tourism model by creating a much longer season.
“Next year, a large number of hoteliers have signed up to our plan to open in February and remain open well into the winter, if not staying open all year. That is our plan for the future,” Serra explained.
“Majorca has always been known for its glorious beaches and weather, but the island has so much more to offer, and tourists are much more active, adventurous and curious than they used to be.
“Years ago, many would come for the sun and the sand but had no real interest in exploring and experiencing Majorca. They could have been lying on a beach anywhere in Spain.
“But habits have changed dramatically, both pre and post-Covid, and the Majorcan tourism industry and Majorcan society as a whole have to take this into account. The great thing is that Majorca has everything to cater for the more discerning tourist.
“We’ve got great food, fashion, delicious local products, culture, artisans, history and shopping, for example. There are first-class hotels and an excellent infrastructure. One can get pretty much anywhere on the island using public transport.
“And what is extremely important is that the islands have a very good health system, which we’ve seen combat Covid and play a key role in making sure that Majorca is a safe and healthy destination.
“We also have something that is unique, the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. There are very few places in the world which have such an impressive range of mountains running along the coast.
“This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Tramuntana being declared a UNESCO natural heritage site, and we believe that the Serra deserves its own brand. The Serra has been so well preserved and protected, with the dry-stone walls and hiking routes and the village architecture in keeping with the environment and heritage. In addition, the Serra boasts its own wines, olive oils and fruit, such as the Soller orange, and we want to create and officially recognise the Serra brand for all the mountain products.
“The Tramuntana is home to many of the best hotels in Majorca, if not the Mediterranean. The mountain range offers a premium quality experience like no other and we want to continue highlighting that.
“The mountains play a key role in some of Majorca’s international sporting events, such as cycling and running.
“The emphasis of our new campaign is going to be very much on sport and promoting the island’s growing number of major international sporting events, plus all the sporting facilities and activities the island has to offer all year round.
“ATP tennis tournaments, PGA Golf, the various cycling tours of the island, one of which kicks off the traditional European circuit every January and attracts many of the most important professional cycling teams to the island for their winter training camps, as well as amateur teams and cycling clubs from all over Europe. We have a network of hotels which specifically cater for cyclists with special facilities, while bars and restaurants and other services are involved with the cycle tourism industry.
“The same goes for hikers, the nautical sector, golfers, runners, swimmers, rugby, football, athletes from all fields - Majorca is ready and waiting.
“We have teamed up with Eurosport, for example, to promote all that Majorca has to offer the sporting world. We now want to reach out to everybody who enjoys sport or being active while exploring Majorca and getting a real taste and feel of what the island is about.
“Yes, Majorca has got competition from the likes of Greece and Turkey, for example, and I’m always watching what they are doing and have close contacts with the tourism authorities in both destinations.
“But being brutally honest, Majorca is in a different class, plus it is geographically right in the middle of Europe.
“While we may be keeping an eye on what competing destinations are doing, they are, and have been for years, taking a long hard look at Majorca’s tourism industry, because it is the one every destination wants to follow and would love to copy, but can’t.
“Majorca’s tourism industry has decades of experience and expertise. Like I’ve said, Majorcan hoteliers operate some of the largest and best hotel chains in the world and have helped countries across the globe develop their own tourism industries. Just look at parts of the Caribbean, where the tourism industries have been created by Majorcan companies.
“Majorca has so many key elements which makes it stand out from the crowd.
“It’s a safe destination with an excellent health service, it has a sustainable, zero kilometre tourism industry, a very high level of quality all along the tourism supply chain. It is a world leader in tourism technology and has an excellent airport with flight connections to global destinations. Next year, Majorca will have direct flights to New York.
“That said, we would like to be more involved with the management of the airport and that is something we are discussing with the airports authority Aena. On the subject of expanding the airport to be able to handle more passengers, we would rather see Aena improve and expand the quality of services offered. I think Majorca as a whole agrees that mass tourism is no longer the future, especially after the lessons we have learned from the pandemic. People don’t want to be squashed together, they want space, and Aena has to take that into account.
“For example, cyclists travelling with their bicycles, which could be worth anything up to 50,000 euros, should receive special care and attention. But Aena needs to give all of its users a first-class experience.
“For most people, their holiday begins when they choose their destination, but airport arrivals and departures are very important. People want a smooth and comfortable experience, so instead of focusing on airport expansion, Aena should be concentrating on improving services, facilities and quality.
“The airport’s role in the tourism industry is an example of how extensive the tourism supply chain is in Majorca.
“To a certain extent everybody is involved - from the hotel receptionist to the coach driver, shop assistant, bar and restaurant staff. The list is endless.
“Apart from the fact that Majorca depends on tourism, all of us have a responsibility to make sure that visitors who have chosen to come and spend their money on the island are made to feel welcome and comfortable.
“The vast majority of us who live in Majorca have all been on holidays, we’ve all been tourists at one time or another and we know what we want when we are on holiday. So we have to be aware of that and treat visitors in the same way we expect to be treated when we go on holiday.
“We don’t want nasty looks at a table of holidaymakers in a restaurant, for example,” Serra stated.
“We all have an important role to play and we should be proud of Majorca and everything it has to offer.
“If we can move away from mass tourism, attract fewer but quality visitors who spend more, then the pressure on the industry and society will be eased. This will enable us to continue improving the quality of the products and services we offer and, if we can prolong the season and have people coming to the island throughout the year, then there is going to be a marked difference on the economy and society as a whole,” Serra stressed.
“We need to shift from volume to value.”