Biel Barcelo, the Balearic tourism minister who resigned last week as a result of a scandal involving a foreign trip, has taken his fair share of criticism, but I would say that he has been one of the more successful tourism ministers despite his "abrupt" departure. Barcelo belongs to the Majorcan nationalist party, Mes, and his initial appointment sent shockwaves around certain sections of the tourist industry. But I believe he hasn’t done a bad job. The Balearic ministry for tourism under Barcelo did actively try to promote low-season tourism, and the introduction of the tourist tax, which was always going to be controversial, was a success with few complaints. Barcelo also appears to have had the measure of the tourist industry; he kept the industry happy but at the same time he was very aware that certain sections of his own party were not too impressed with the direction tourism was taking.

His foreign trip was a mistake and in some ways his departure will be felt by the Balearic government because not only was he tourism minister he was also an effective vice-president. He will be remembered as the minister for tourism who introduced the tourist tax with few problems. A previous tourism minister tried and failed. He was also lucky. The Balearics were much in demand because of the security fears over competing resorts in the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa. His successor faces some big challenges. The rate of the tourist tax is set to double next year and hoteliers are concerned over the recovery of competing resorts in the east and north Africa.