CRUISE ships are looming on the Mallorcan horizon, much to the objection of many who would rather not see a cruise ship in Palma ever again on the grounds of the pollution, real lack of investment in the local economy and the potential health threat to the population. However, the ball is not in the court of the Balearic government, the final decision lies with Madrid which has control of state ports, like Palma, while the monopoly enjoyed by companies which fuel and replenish ships’ stores also form a powerful lobby group.

That said, with time still on the Balearic government’s hands, it could try and cash in on the return of cruise liners. With the first ship not due to dock in Palma until early May, the bars and restaurants should be open by then and they are going to need a quick injection of cash after being closed.

So, why does not the local government strike a deal with the cruise lines which would not only benefit the hostelry sector but retail as well? Gather together a vast group of bars, restaurants and retailers which are all prepared to offer discounts or cash incentives to cruise passengers who use their services.

Instead of having cruise passengers being shuttled back and forth around meal times on board, why not encourage passengers to stay in Palma to eat and shop? That way Palma at large could at least make some welcome money out of the cruise industry.