A warm Majorcan welcome as the 2'000 delegates started to arrive.

Yesterday the first wave of some 2'000 Thomas Cook retail managers, assistant managers and retail support centre staff flew in to Palma from Britain for a week of business and pleasure with the emphasis on the latter because, as the managing director of Thomas Cook Retail, Manny Fontenla-Novoa explained, it is the company's way of “thanking them all for a fantastic year.” Fontenla-Novoa, originally from Galicia, who was on hand to personally welcome everybody as they arrived, said “they are the best team by far.” His “team” however, is 10'000 strong with Thomas Cook, which has again been voted top UK travel agent, operating over 700 travel retail outlets. Fontenla-Novoa said that all the staff on the trip will be treated to gala dinners, a tour of Majorca today and a conference at the Auditorium tomorrow, where the “very exciting” future as part of the Condor & Neckerman group will be discussed. “Last year was a great year, one of the best ever and there is going to be lots of change,” Fontenla-Novoa said. Last year over half a million British tourists came to the Balearics alone through Thomas Cook and Fontenla-Novoa is confident that the Balearics will prove as equally popular with the British this year. “It's still the most popular destination and while Turkey may be back in fashion this year and Cyprus is continuing to boom, the Balearics is the bread and butter.” Fontenla-Novoa also said that the Balearics are proving increasingly popular during the winter, while he admits that winter tourism will never develop as it has in the Canaries or Florida, simply because of the weather. The islands are becoming more popular with tourists on short breaks and for golf holidays “but they need reasons to come.”


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