Staff Reporter A TRAM line, two golf courses and an aquarium are among the attractions planned for the Playa de Palma, in a joint project involving the central and Balearic governments and the Palma and Llucmajor town councils. Plans were explained yesterday by Francisco Utrera, the Secretary of State for Tourism, and Balearic tourism minister Joan Flaquer, who said that the projects were part of a master plan which was subject to variations, but will enhance the popular resort area, which is showing “signs of age and degradation.” Utrera said that this project is “a pioneer” and will serve as “a pilot scheme” for improving tourist resorts. Flaquer said that there were no budgets or time schedules for the projects, although he did say that many of the initiatives would need help from the private sector. One of the projects is a mobility plan which calls for a boulevard along the second line of the Playa de Palma, and a tram line which would run to the airport, and to the end of the Llucmajor coast, at Cap de Enderrocat. This mobility plan will also take into consideration the construction of several car park buildings by the boulevard. Changes will also be made to the prevision of space proceding from obsolete hotels which have already been included in the master development plan for Majorca as “reconversion areas,” according to Josep Aloy, the director general of planning and development. The central and local governments are also considering a green belt covering an area of one million square metres, in the area comprising from the motorway to the second line of the Playa de Palma. Within this area there would be sports installations and two golf courses, one of them built in collaboration with the Balearic golf federation. The Balearic tourism ministry and the Palma and Llucmajor councils are also planning other building projects such as an aquarium, which would be constructed with the aid of private enterprise, and a unique building which would be of touristic interest thanks to its design. Bernadino Seguúi, the head of the Balearic tourism ministry's architecture department, likened this building to the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Santiago Calatrava building in Valencia. Flaquer said that the existence of this plan, and its presentation will enable the government get to work on the future of the Playa de Palma next year, and “open a debate” on the improvement of tourist resorts. Both the Palma and Llucmajor councils are involved as the Playa de Palma comes under the jurisdiction of them both. It is one of the oldest resort areas on the island, and although substantial improvements have been made in recent years, there is still room for improvement.

The hoteliers in the area are particularly worried about the rising crime rate, and every summer ask for greater police reinforcements.
The plans for the golf courses are likely to draw criticism from environmental groups, who are opposed to them because of the amount of land they take up, and also the huge amounts of water they consume.