Balearic Minister for Tourism, Celesti Alomar, was out and about yesterday inspecting one of the most ambitious projects to be funded by tourist tax money. Alomar, accompanied by the socialist party candidate for Mayor of Palma, Toni Roig, visited some of the sites included in the 10 million euro Playa de Palma improvement plan. The Minister toured the proposed site of the new cycle-tourism route in Arenal, two quarries which are to be renovated and rejuvenated for public use and the Jesus canal which separates Palma and Lluchmajor. The river bed is to be cleaned and the area alongside the canal is to be transformed into a green belt with public parks, gardens, walks and childrens' playgrounds. The whole Playa de Palma improvement is expected to take three years to complete, work on the quarries will start at the end of September. Alomar said that the second-line of the Playa de Palma needs to be greatly improved and redesigned to meet the needs of the family, sporting and cultural tourism - all key parts of the Balearics new model for tourism. The sea front has been improved dramatically over the years, but drop back, and Alomar said that the resort is in poor condition. Sporting facilities are to be improved, public footpaths and promenades cleaned along with the beaches which will also have better access and facilities for the disabled. The Playa de Palma improvement project is one of the highlight schemes of the first set of tourist tax funded projects announced two months ago. In a clever political move, with the elections looming next year, overseeing the Playa de Palma improvement project will be the responsibility of the Palma City Council Socialist group in co-operation with the Balearic government and the Ministry for Tourism.

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