THE Balearics, along with Catalonia and the Basque Country is one of the most unfriendly regions towards tourism, according to a recent report by ESADE and DDBO Consulting, as reported in the Bulletin earlier this week.
In a snap survey conducted among Majorcans, the general consensus was that perhaps locals had become too used to having tourists around.
Caterina Antich works at the Office of Information for Immigrants (OFIM) in Palma, and thinks that the facts revealed in this study do have an explanation. All of us, in one way or another, make a living from tourism, and, what's more, every summer tourists arrive en masse. There have been seasons of crisis, it is true, but up to now, they have always come back in large numbers. And there comes a time when you just take it for granted and relax. What I mean is that you relax when it comes to treating the other person, the individual. Personally, I have found that very often you go into a shop to buy something, and the assistants don't even say good morning to you. Francisca Jaume is an administrator for the group Iberostar, and she says, I would not speak of lack of hospitality. What has happened is that when tourism started in the Balearics, as it was such a novelty, we paid more attention to visitors. And now, as we are more used to them, we don't give them such a personal treatment, and this must have been noticed. Apart from that, the complementary offer is also very dear, because in three months, you have to make enough for the whole year. And we should also bear in mind another factor, that perhaps they want to receive the same treatment as in their own regions, something which is quite difficult. Margalida Garcies is the owner of the tobacconists at the top of Avenida Jaime III and she says that she is very surprised because we treat everybody the same. What's more, many tourists just come in, look around, ask prices and leave without saying anything. And sometimes they come in when we have closed and we still attend to them. Muriel Ojeda is a waitress and says the conclusions of this survey are nothing new. You know that they are people you will only serve once and you will never see them again. And that influences you, whether you want it to or not. And as there is so much tourism here, there comes a moment when you get a little tired, and that means that on occasions, the attention isn't quite what it should be. Pep Joan, owner of the bar Lorein in Palma says I don't trust surveys very much. You would have to know how many people have been consulted, what part of the Balearics they spent their holidays in, etc. If not, it's just a waste of time. And the subject of treating tourists well has become a little excessive, I refer to the a tourist, a friend' campaign. Neither too much nor too little... if you understand me. One thing is to make a living from tourism, quite another is to be a bootlicker. Miquel Crespí is a postman by profession and says that despite the surveys, I think that everybody makes an effort to give good service to the people who visit us. Postal workers, for example, always give whatever explanations are necessary if we are asked for an address.
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