MAYORS, tourism and construction chiefs from the Chinese province of Shandong and its main city, Qingdao, were received in Palma yesterday by tourism chief Joan Flaquer, whom they invited to promote the Balearics in the fairs of Shanghai and Beijing.
Flaquer later stressed the importance of Shandong in the Chinese tourist trade and added that the visit to Palma was due to the interest of the region's authorities in developing this sector.
Shandong is between Beijing and Shanghai, on the coast of the Yellow Sea, opposite the Korean Peninsula.
It has good beaches and a warm temperature, with about 40 offshore islands, only two of which have been developed for tourism.
Flaquer said that his department has put its experience in tourist planning at the disposal of the Chinese visitors, so that it can be used for development.
However, as to promoting the Balearics in China, he said that the chief difficulty was the large distances involved.
The meeting with the 14-strong Chinese group was attended by the director generals of promotion and planning, Eduardo Gamero and Josep Aloy, respectively, and the director of the Balearic Tourism Institute (Ibatur) Raimundo Alabern.
Today, the group will be visiting various coastal resorts to study their hotels and complementary offer. On Saturday, they will travel to Barcelona, to study its tourist attractions and the Forum, which is currently being held there and in which they have shown great interest.