By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
BRITISH Consul to Majorca and Minorca, Paul Abrey yesterday held “positive and constructive” talks with the Balearic President Francesc Antich.
The meeting, at the government's Consolat de Mar headquarters, focused mainly on tourism and how Britain and the Balearics can work closer together to further expand Majorca's tourism industry.

However, Antich was also impressed to hear about the substantial financial investment and commitment the British government has made in the Balearics over the past two years, in particular the opening of a new British Consulate in Palma and the expansion of services and facilities offered to British citizens.

Abrey also quashed any concerns Antich had about British tourism being hit by the credit crunch looming over Britain.
The Consul told the President that the latest information he has received from the UK's main tour operators is that Majorca is going to continue to be the number one destination this year. “Families may reconsider taking a second holiday, but they will not be giving up their early sunshine holidays in Majorca. The island continues to offer good value for money and there are no suggestions of a decline in British tourism,” Abrey told Antich yesterday.

The two also discussed ways in which a joint approach could be taken towards seriously getting long weekend and winter tourism off the ground in the Balearics. “Antich was keen to discuss what he had learnt during his trip to the World Travel Market in London. He is in regular contact with the leading UK tour firms and is taking a real hands-on approach to tourism,” Abrey said. “Majorca has huge potential in the winter tourism and long weekend markets but Antich feels that the message is not getting across, so this is an area we will be looking to develop,” the Consul added.

Abrey said that the weekend tourism market is growing, albeit slowly, and that the emphasis is going to be on packaging up and selling Palma as an ideal long weekend cultural destination. “The galleries, museums, churches, monuments... there is so much for people to do,” Abrey said yesterday.

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