THE Balearic Government will give the Council of Majorca 375'000 euros, so that it can develop its own tourism promotion projects as and where it sees necessary in 2005, under an agreement which was signed yesterday. It was signed by the Balearic minister for tourism, Joan Flaquer, and Francesc Buils, representing the Council of Majorca. The funds allocated this year are four per cent higher than the amount granted last year, 360'000 euros. There are other similar agreements in place with the other Island Councils (Minorca and Ibiza-Formentera) and with the three Tourist Promotion Boards, and this decentralisation of power fits well in the scheme of things, said Flaquer. The results from 2004 have shown that the collaboration is highly effective, as each of the four islands market themselves in different ways and thereby attract different types of tourists and offer distinct promotions. Buils said that last year, the money granted by the Balearic Government, was used to improve the tourist information networks and services on the island. In this way, 27 different brochures were designed and published by the Council in order to promote specific tourist attractions. The Council also sponsored conferences for travel agents and held sporting events that attracted foreign visitors. This year the Council has decided to add its own funds into the tourism promotion budget so that it reaches 1.1 million euros, Francesc Buil said. This will allow them to develop and promote numerous events and attractions. It will also allow them to continue with their aim of “joining together culture and tourism”, in the hope of changing tourists' perceptions of Majorca. No other government has favoured handing over responsibility for tourism to the Island Councils than this one, said Flaquer. The most important thing is for all strategies that all institutions are developing, to fit together, said Buils. It is hoped that this year more French tourists will be attracted to visiting Majorca. Historically, the number of French tourists to the islands has never been good. The Balearic Islands cycling team are entering the next Tour de France, and hopefully this will help to advertise the Balearic Islands, Flaquer said.