THE World Cup is already casting its long shadow over the tourist season and has set the alarm bells ringing over a possible drop in the number of German tourists visiting the island between June 9 and July 9. But it is not just the Germans who may prefer to stay at home and watch the soccer. There are also fears for British tourists, who along with the Germans form the bulk of visitors to the Balearics.
However, the powers that be are already making contingency plans, such as showing matches live on giant video screens set up on the beaches.
This is just one of the measures being studied by the Balearic government and Turespaña, the State promotional board.
Eduardo Gamero, Balearic director general of tourism promotion, spoke publicly of the situation yesterday.
He said that the focus would be on marketing rather than promoting, and everyone would be involved from tour operators to hoteliers and bar, restaurant and club owners. He was speaking after a meeting with Amparo Fernández, the director of Turespaña, in which they both agreed that the best way of ensuring that there was no major drop in visitors because of the World Cup was to offer them better conditions for enjoying the matches from their favourite holiday resort. This will include giant screens on beaches and other public places, and private enterprise will also be invited to take up similar initiatives to add to the World Cup atmosphere in resorts. Gamero warned that there is a drop of visitors during every World Cup, the biggest drop being in the host country. As this year it is Germany and Germans are the second biggest market (after the British), extra precautions should be taken. The Balearics and Turespaña are due to sign a four million euro promotional deal shortly, and while part of it will be used to open up the Polish market, a large slice will be spent in Britain, which has offered poor results for the past two seasons. Given the British love of football, Germany is expected to be a favoured destination this summer. Gamero described his meeting with Fernandez as “positive,” adding that the two organisations will collaborate in various major events such as congresses and golf tournaments.


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