by Irene Taylor
HOTELIER José Antonio Fernández de Alarcón has been appointed the new co-ordinator of the plan to give a facelift to the Playa de Palma by the consortium set up for that purpose. Fernández, who is deputy chairman of the resort's hoteliers' association, will now have four months in which to draw up a plan of action.
The appointment comes two weeks after Balearic leader Jaume Matas promised to back plans, and open them up to hoteliers and traders in the area, in an effort to seek a wider financial base. Prior to that, the consortium had been limited to the central tourism ministry, Balearic government, Council of Majorca and the Llucmajor and Palma city councils. The project is said to have the full backing of the central government.
Balearic tourism chief Joan Flaquer said that changes to the board, which now admits hoteliers, means that private initiative will take the lead, and the central and regional governments will play a supporting role. He added that it was important for the whole of society to take part in this major refurbishment of what was one of the pioneering resorts on the island, at the start of the tourism boom. Jaume Matas said that reforms “could not wait any longer.” Raimon Martinez Fraile, the central secretary general for tourism, said that the change in the consortium should speed up the start of work, adding that plans have “the total support of the government. He said that the central tourism ministry's role would be “complementary,” adding that he hoped the work plan which the hoteliers would draw up would “include the necessary criteria for getting the plan underway.”