Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE Balearic government will spend 24 million euros on promoting tourism to the islands this year, and a large part of the money will be spent on stands at 58 tourism fairs in 24 countries.

Details of the campaign were revealed yesterday by tourism chief Joan Flaquer, accompanied by Eduardo Gamero, the director general of tourism promotion.

The budget is seven per cent higher than last year, and the campaign will be run by the Balearic Tourism Institute, Ibatur.
Flaquer stressed that his department's strategy was based on trying to “consolidate traditional markets,” such as Great Britain, Germany, Spain and the Nordic countries, but it would also continue to seek new clients in emerging European markets. Ibatur will continue to pay special attention to Poland, Flaquer said. Tourists visiting the trade fairs will be invited to “enjoy islands which are varied and diverse” Flaquer said.

New technologies will also be used to promote tourism, and both access to, and the contents of, the website illesbalears.es will be improved.
Commenting on the 58 fairs at which the Balearics will have a stand, 13 of them are dedicated to golf, sailing and diving, conventions and rural tourism, while three have been organised directly by tour operators.

Ibatur, in collaboration with the private sector, has also planned 17 presentations for travel agents, tour operators and specialised press in Spanish and European cities as well as in Chicago and New York.

There will also be nine special promotional sessions held in the Balearics, when groups of travel agents and specialised journalists will be invited to see for themselves what the island has to offer.

Ibatur will continue with its policy of sponsoring events such as the winter cultural programmes in all the islands, the ballet season in Palma, the Tour of Majorca Challenge cycle race, and the Majorca Classic golf tournament. This latter event will receive 4.6 million euros from the government, nearly 20 per cent of its total budget for promotion.

Four million euros will also be spent on publicity campaigns in Britain, Germany, France and Poland.
There will be a separate advertising campaign in Spain and Ibatur will also sponsor congresses of British and French travel agents, and will continue with the Plan Oci 60, which allows senior citizens from the Balearics to travel to other islands. This year, there will also be exchanges with senior citizens from Valencia and Galicia.

Eduardo Gamero added that Ibatur is planning a pilot programme of social tourism, in which the European Committee of Regions and the European Economic and Social Council will also take part.

At the moment, the Balearics, three Polish regions and Bavaria (Germany) have shown an interest in taking part.

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