HOTELIERS in the resort of Capdepera in the east of the island plan to join forces with bar, restaurant and owners in order to seek new markets and defend their interests.
This was the chief decision at the end of the First Tourism Forum: CHallenge: Capdepera 21st Century, which was held in Capdepera.
Tourism has changed, and while the sun and sand model has to be maintained, other attractions must be found, the hoteliers said.
It is necessary to adapt to modern times, seek new markets and recover quality.
This was the general opnion of the hoteliers who want to join forces with shop, restaurant and bar owners and seek the support of the administration to put an end to the crisis in the sector and save quality tourism.
The Forum was spearheaded by Balearic tourism minister Joan Flaquer, commerce minister Josep Joan Cardona, chairman of the Institute of Quality in Tourism Miquel Hernandez, chairman of the Calas de Capdepera hoteliers association Joan Massanet and Mayor Joan Ferrer.
The Mayor opened the Forum, saying that the council wanted to boost tourism and open up to other markets than the German.
But, he added, this is a task for everyone.
Cardona defended the importance of commerce to tourism, but said it was necessary to modernise shops.
He also said there should be close ties between the commerce and hotel sectors as they need each other. Massenet's message ran on similar lines. We have been complaining about not having quality tourism for some time. Now is the time to change the negative message and sell our area better. Flaquer closed the Forum with two conclusions: To recover the vocation for tourism and self esteem and to open to new markets such as the new members of the European Union. Members of the public were then invited to ask questions.
Most of them were traders from the area, and they all expressed their concern for the all inclusive packages, which have been growing steadily this season.