BALEARIC TOURIST SECTOR TO GO ON A MAJOR CHARM OFFENSIVE

By Humphrey Carter
THE Balearic public is being called upon to be nice to tourists this summer.
Last week's survey which concluded that the Balearics is the second least hospitable destination in Spain, after Cataluña, has set alarm bells ringing and yesterday the hotel and service sectors, along with travel agents, called on the entire local population to offer visitors a warm welcome this summer and help the Balearics be more hospitable.

President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Pedro Cañellas, said yesterday “we've got to be more hospitable towards tourists,” suggesting that some of the campaigns launched in the past could be revived “because tourism is absolutely vital for the island. “It would not hurt to re-launch past campaigns, in particular the ‘a tourist, a friend' promotion, not only to make tourists feel more welcome, but also encourage the local population to be hospitable” he said.

President of AVIBA, the Balearic association of travel agents, Antoni Mas, accused the local population of perhaps having “let its guard down” with regards to its treatment of tourists. “We need to rediscover the warm hospitality the islands were once famous for,” he said.
Antoni Mas was quick to add that, in his view, Majorca is amicable and hospitable towards tourists “although perhaps we're not as charming and graceful as the Andalusians,” he admitted.

Nevertheless, hotel federation boss Pedro Cañellas says that the Balearics has plenty of time to get its act together before the summer season gets underway.

Since the introduction of the single currency, the Balearics has earned a reputation for being an increasingly expensive destination, at home and overseas.

While last week's survey was conducted in Spain, the tourist sector does not want the Balearics earning itself a reputation for being expensive and unfriendly.

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