THE German tour operator TUI and Balearic tourism resorts will start negotiations to find alternatives to the “sun and sand” holidays.
This was the chief conclusion of a meeting of representatives of 20 Balearic Resorts and the Balearic environment ministry and TUI executives, at the tour operator's headquarters in Hannover, Germany. The Balearic group was headed by minister Jaume Font, and they were welcomed by Peter Engellen of the administration board, Kirsten Feld-Turks, director of tourist products, Wolf Michael Iwand, director of the environment department, and Juan Carlos Alia, directoor of communications. Although TUI's chief product in the Balearics is the “sun and sand” package, the executives and the resort representatives agreed that it was necessary to establish direct and permanent contact, to offer something else: culture, gastronomy, nature, rambling, sport, etc. Miquel Ferrer, the Mayor of Acludia, said that such a permanent link would allow the resorts to make long term plans according to fluctuations in demand. Joan Sastre, Mayor of Porreres, said that towns in the centre of the island were not interested in welcoming large numbers of tourists, but they would find it attractive to find an alternative offer to the beaches, to help develop the local economy. He added that co-ordination with TUI could prove to be “very fruitful.” Sastre said that there was a surge in rural tourism, but the key was not to build new establishments but to adapt existing buildings. Councils could help in this without the need of altering their planning regulations.