Staff Reporter
SOME 85 percent of the craftsmen participating in the BaleArt trade fair which closed its doors in Palma yesterday, have shown their enthusiasm to repeat the experience next year. Nine percent have said they don't wish to return and 6 percent were undecided.
According to a survey carried out by the organisers, 86 percent of the total number of craftsmen who want to exhibit this coming year, want to make use of the same space, while 12 percent want a larger stand and two percent a smaller space. When asked about which days of Baleart were most favourable from a trading point of view, 93 percent of those interviewed agreed that it had been the public holidays that had witnessed the most successful business. Twenty-four percent, however, were of the opinion that it had been the two Saturday dates that fell within the calendar of the trade fair, whilst 12 percent said that the working week days were more favourable. The craftsmen have suggested to the directors of the trade fair that on future occasions, stands should only be open to the public during the afternoons of working weekdays. Exhibitors also expressed a preference for craftsmen to group themselves together in sections of the display area according to their trade.
Furthermore, some 55 percent of the interviewees declared they were happy with the fair to last 10 days, while 33 percent were in favour of it being reduced to four days. BaleArt closed its doors yesterday after 10 days of trading at the exhibition area at the Polígono Levante in Palma. There had been plenty of public interest in the traditionally-made Balearic products, and in the live demonstrations offered by the craftsmen. Products that had the highest profile on the stands were cheeses and patés, including produce originating in Asturias on the Peninsula; one trader from this region has historically enjoyed a place in the food and drink section of the fair since the first edition. Visitors also showed a great deal of enthusiasm for costume jewellery, leather products and wrought iron.
Also on display was the blue glassware of Gordiola, which will be one of the wedding presents of Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne, and journalist Letizia Ortis. This year there were 118 stands at the fair, 23 of them for food and drink.
They displayed the wares of 100 craftsmen and women, 19 institutions, four non-governmental organisations, including Oxfam, Unicef and the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, and four service companies.

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