By Lois Jones
BUSINESSES in the Balearics sold 480.8 million euros worth of goods to tourists last year. 15 percent (72.12 million euros) were sales entitling the purchaser to discounts under the “Shopping Majorca” campaign, developed by island institutions and tour operators. These details were confirmed yesterday by the President of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, Miquel Lladó, accompanied in a press conference by the Director of the Balearic Institute of Tourism (Ibatur) - Tiffany Blackman, and the President of the IBI Comercio Foundation - Jaume Garcías. The “Shopping Majorca” programme, in its third term of operation last year, counts on the collaboration of the Government, the Chamber of Commerce together with the tour operators - TUI and Thomson. The package offers discounts to clients of these tour operators on goods purchased from named businesses in specific tourist areas of Majorca during during the months of the year out of high season. The ensuing campaign, to which 400 business outlets from different sectors have subscribed, will be staged over the seven months - 1st October to 30 April inclusive. These establishments will be printed in a guide to be distributed to the clients of TUI and Thompson 50'000 will be printed in German and as much again in English - together with a shopping card that will enable them to make the most of the discounts which vary according to the outlets chosen. Lladó highlighted the fact that the collaboration of Thomson in the last campaign “opened up the British market” giving a new boost to the Majorcan commercial sector which also participates through Afedeco and Pimeco management organizations. Garcías drew special attention to the successful consolidation of the programme and pointed out that according to the studies conducted by IBI Comercio, all the establishments in Paguera included in “Shopping Majorca” made sales to tourists with the discount card, whilst in other areas the proportion varied between 75 percent in El Arenal and 31 percent in Palma. He furthermore signalled that there are other tour operators interested in participating and negotiations will be arranged so that they can be included in the next campaign. Garcías indicated that the report that IBI Comercio is carrying out doesn't include details of sales volumes in comparison with previous years, in spite of which he assured the press conference that the scheme is gathering momentum. Although there was no data available on which items were most sought after by tourists, Lladó nevertheless pointed to the fact that leatherware and shoeware in general, as well as jewellery, are amongst those that most interest the clients of TUI and Thomson that visit Majorca in low season. The Director of Ibatur, Tiffany Blackman, considered that the campaign results for 2002-2003 were “good news” and affirmed that “when an initiative is taken involving the efforts of many, one can expect success.”

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