by Staff Reporter
A total of 215 restaurants, cafes and bars in Majorca have joined the Quality Plan, introduced last May by the Institute of Quality in Tourism (IQT) and the Majorcan restaurateurs association.

This figure was revealed yesterday by IQT director Miguel Hernández, who met with representatives of the association, to evaluate the agreement signed between the two bodies to apply the plan and present plaques indicating quality approval. “I am very satisfied with the results of the agreement,” Hernández said, adding that he expects the number of establishments backing the initiative to rise to 350 by December.

He also said that various steps had been taken to improve the training of workers. They include classes in how to treat customers, quality management, and languages.

Hernández said that the IQT will also provide businesses which join the scheme with “the tools and practical management models which measure quality” such as a questionnaire, which is already being distributed, and will help measure the degree of acceptance of the service among visitors. “We feel that there can be many opinions on the services and prices, but the customer is the fundamental element for telling us how an establishment is faring,” he said yesterday.

Hernandez defends “total quality” in tourism services, in which town councils, hotels and the complementary offer should collaborate, adding that “star products” play an important role.

These star products include, among others, golf, rambling and rural tourism, which help diversify the offer and extend the season.
Hernández announced that in October, the IQT will organise a competition for projects, aimed at young professionals, with a first prize of 25'000 euros. The Institute is also preparing to spend 125'000 euros for plans to improve excellence in tourist establishments.

Other plans include 180'000 euros for tourism development projects in municipalities and 166'000 euros for training courses.
His announcements come at a time when local restaurants and bars claim that takings are down by 20 percent this season, even though there are more tourists than ever.

They put the blame on all inclusive holidays, in which the tourist pays for everything, including drinks in the bar and entertainment at the hotel, before leaving his or her home country.

This type of holiday is proving to be very popular with families, but it means that tourists do not go out as much.
It is not just bars and restaurants which are feeling the pinch.
Shops and car hire firms have also been complaining, many of them saying that the high season is becoming shorter each year.
The Balearic government is constantly trying to find ways and means to extend the tourist season throughout the winter, when many hotels and businesses in resorts close down.

But so far, tourists are showing that they still prefer the sun and sand holidays and stick to the mid-summer months.


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