2

In a few days time the new convention centre will open in Palma, giving the city a major lift. The centre has been designed to operate throughout the year but there could be a big stumbling block: the shortage of winter flights. If you can't get to the island, there is little point in having a major convention centre. The announcement this week that there will ne no direct flights to Scotland during the winter season has already robbed Palma of one market. If Scots can't get here low season, then there is little point Scottish companies having their conventions here, despite the Scottish love affair with Majorca.

Now, obviously flights are exceptionally important to Majorca. The convention centre was designed to encourage more low-season visitors. When I first mentioned the shortage of low-season flights to one convention centre official, he replied that it was all a question of demand and supply: if airlines realise that there is demand for a flight, then it will be introduced. So perhaps the convention centre may ensure more low-season flights. They are certainly needed. However, I do feel that it is time that the Balearic government started to take the issue of low-season tourism seriously. A plan is needed which involves the convention centre and of course off-season activities such as sports, shopping and food. As I have said in this space on many occasions, there is certainly demand for low-season holidays but a plan is needed. The local governmnet needs to act.