Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT of the Balearic Hotel Federation of Majorca, Pere Cañellas, said yesterday that his members will let “no one” dictate which of the hotels on the Island are to be converted into apartments.

Pere Cañellas was making reference to a speech made by regional Tourism minister Joan Flaquer, who had said that the state of each hotel would be judged on its individual merits before subsidies would be granted for conversion work.

Thousands of hotel places are surplus to requirements at the moment with the local government offering grants for hoteliers to transform their businesses into apartment blocks.

Cañellas claimed the right for each hotel owner, of his own free will, to decide the time and manner of conversion of his establishment.
He said, however, that it would be necessary to wait for a further meeting when all parties involved in future refurbishment work could reach a consensus. “Reconversion is not something to be done on a whim; it will be done because it is in the interests of tourism that some accommodation disappear to allow the remainder to be put to good use” pointed out Cañellas, who declared that community advisers would have to be involved to decide what use some of the older hotels could be put to, whether it be for local housing or geriatric units, amongst other ideas.

For their part, the Workers Commission (CCOO) have announced they will continue to support proposals on tourism presented in writing at the last meeting on 28 July which hammered out a draft agreement without any firm agreement.

In terms of the conversion work which will eliminate some long-established hotel accommodation, they said that agreement will have to be reached with the Community Advisers on the needs of the area in question, but said that change of use should only be made in extreme cases.

The Federation president added that conversion work doesn't simply have to be undertaken in “cases of extreme” deterioration as was also suggested last weekend by the General Workers' Union (UGT) secretary, Lorenzo. “Conversion work will be carried out according to appropriate need” emphasised Cañellas, who added that “it is better” to focus on land which has already been built on instead of eating up new ground.

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