STAFF REPORTER

LONDON
REGENT Street in London will have a very Spanish flavour tomorrow when a gastronomic promotion entitled “The Taste of Spain” will attempt to entice the British back to Spain as a holiday destination.

With 23 percent less visitors from the UK having visited Spain in the first quarter of 2009 than they did in the same period last year, 12 regions of Spain, including the Balearics, have teamed up to tempt the British with an array of national delicacies offered to passers-by down one of the main arteries of London. The event will be embellished with other attractions such as performances by Minorcan riders and music from Marlango and The Cabriolets.

Ignacio Vasallo, director of the Spanish Tourist Office in London said yesterday however that in April, the overall downturn had levelled off at 15 percent so expectations are that by the time the summer season gets into full swing in Spain, numbers of visitors will be only slightly down on last year. Majorca continues to enjoy the best figures. He added that the areas most affected by the decline in tourist visits have been the Canary Islands and Minorca, saying that they have fallen victim to countries such as Turkey, not within the Euro zone, where the “all inclusive” package is being widely offered.

Meanwhile, an advertising campaign fronted by Majorca's world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal is currently running on television in both the UK and France where, in between defending his crown, he has also been helping to promote the Balearics during the first week of the French Open.

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