OVER the next two years, Palma City Council will invest 460'000 euros in the development of a project to promote seagoing tourism to the capital, including cruises.
The scheme will be combined with the production of a cultural points of interest agenda so that those who come to Palma by sea will be encouraged to explore the city and all it has to offer.
Francisca Bennásar, Councillor for Tourism and Overseas Promotion, explained that the introduction of both projects which are financed by the European Union, will establish Palma as the most important complementary offer to the tourist industry on Majorca in terms of cultural, commercial and seagoing activities.
Specifically, the promotional programme of cultural tourism in the city, entitled CultourMed, aims to attract visitors coming from overseas and from other districts of the Island, through improved access to the historic centre of Palma.
To provide such new inroads for tourism into the heart of Palma, the City Council is to draw up artistic and cultural itineraries, which will include small urban trading centres. The plan will also provide an interpreting centre where information will be obtainable on all the routes through the old part of the town.
Tourists who embark on these cultural routes through the city, will be able to obtain information sheets giving a background to their excursion.
Visitors will also be able to attend the showing of a video covering the sector of Palma that they have chosen to explore. The key buildings and monuments en route will be appropriately signposted by the City Council.
To this end, the head of the municipal Tourism department confirmed that the Town Hall will proceed with cataloguing 150 buildings and will publish information on the itineraries in Castellano, Catalan, English and German.
As an adjunct to the promotion, the City Council will improve the training of the professionals who act as guides to visitors, so adequate responses can be provided to questions during the excursions.
The programme for boosting seagoing tourism and cruises, called Capital Blau, has as its objective, the development of the touristic potential in this field. It incorporates a wider purpose of integrating local business in providing a complementary service to the visitors.
Sebastiá Sansó, councillor for Work, Economy and Commerce, asserted that the programme is a challenge to the people of Palma for fresh ideas in local trade.
As he pointed out, this project embraces improving the access to the heart of Palma for tourists arriving by sea, and tapping the economic potential that their desire to see the capital will provide.
The City Council of Palma will spearhead the mobilisation of both projects, which supposes an overall investment of 2'114'167 euros. These funds will be provided from a scheme called Interreg, a Mediterranean regional initiative also subscribed to by Naples, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete and Malta.
The introduction of these itineraries for tourism in the Balearic capital will be supported by, amongst other institutions, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ports Authority and the Balearic government.