Staff Reporter
THIS coming May, the city council of Palma will open new tourist information offices at Casal Solleric and at Parc de Ses Estacions.
These upgraded centres will replace those at Sant Domingo and Plaza de España, respectively. Another, which will be fourth in the City's network, will be opened in 6 months at Es Jonquet.

The development was confirmed yesterday by Francisca Bennassar, councillor for Tourism and External promotion. She also declared that the city council plans for these tourist information offices, together with the one in Playa de Palma, to be open to the public on Sundays and public holidays within the space of roughly six months.

Bennassar explained that these measures form part of the strategic “Tourism plan” set out by her government team. The information centres will be updated with an administrative quality system which will allow their staff, as well as visitors, to optimise knowledge of local activities and points of interest.

In the offices which are open at the moment, the city council employs 11 tourist information personnel, (5 in the Plaza de España, 4 in Sant Domingo and 2 in the Playa de Palma). An objective of the tourist department is to maintain the same staffing levels to provide personal attention to clients, since some of their work can now be handed over to a computerised graphic information system known as “Palma virtual”.

Juan Francisco Martínez, municipal Area Director for Tourism, confirmed that “Palma virtual” will come on-line as an information tool next June. It consists of an office accessible by Internet, set up with both tourism industry professionals and the general public in mind. Up-to-the-minute information will be available on cultural and leisure activities all over the island. Enquiries made to tourist information offices by telephone will be centralised and a system will be set up to answer queries, wherever possible, by e-mail.

Additionally, the city council, which has invested some 72'000 euros in the tourist information office in Parc de Ses Estacions, is to launch other projects including the creation of a promotion network. This “information highway” will advertise “What's On” in Palma in a different format than that used for letting the public know about other tourist opportunites around the rest of Majorca and other islands in the Balearics.

Bennassar touched on the subject of the “Palma Convention Bureau”, the production of new information and promotional material, the project for setting up a “monument” route through the city and the transfer of the Tourism department to new head offices in the calle Morey in Palma.

The councillor indicated that during the first three months of this year, the currently existing tourism offices received 41'682 requests for information, 62 percent of them in the Plaza de España and nearly 42 percent made during the month of March.

The vast majority of approaches to the centre were made in person (94 percent), and the remainder on the telephone and by ordinary and electronic mail. Spaniards and Germans (each with a level of 38 percent) were the tourists who asked most questions, followed by the British who accounted for 12 percent of enquiries.

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