By Humphrey Carter PALMA

IN response to yesterday's letter from Alan and Chris Cook regarding the lack of flights from N. Ireland to Majorca, a reader who has spent the past 25 years “commuting” between Edinburgh and Santa Ponsa contacted the Bulletin to express not only his frustration at the lack of connections between Scotland, Northern England and Palma during the winter but also the tunnel-vision of the local tourist authorities and their failure to “move with the times.” Between September and May, the Santa Ponsa resident has to spend between eight and 24 hours in getting down to Palma either via another UK airport, which often involves an overnight stay, or mainland Spain. “I often find it's easier, quicker and quite often cheaper to fly to the States. We've got daily flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh to New York with Continental and we can get to Dubai on Emirates in seven hours for the same price as flying down to Majorca,” he said. “But, there are plenty of winter connections to Faro, Alicante and Malaga, for example and I know of many Scots who used to live on the island having relocated to these destinations because of the all-year flight connection,” he said. “The lack of flights is forcing people to sell up, or think twice about moving here,” he stressed. “No one appears to be thinking about the common good of the island, all this political in-fighting is just damaging the island's tourist industry and it is the region's livelihood, it has not got any other business, certainly one that is not related to tourism,” he added. “I look at Barcelona, for example. On the weekends, it's a vibrant city full of people from all over Spain and the world and why? Mainly because everything is open. “Palma is closed every weekend. Never mind the locals, second home owners and land based tourists, What are the cruise passengers expected to do on a Saturday afternoon or on a Sunday? On a Sunday the city's a ghost town, hardly any restaurants can even be bothered to open so how can the Ministry for Tourism expect Majorca to take off as a weekend destination? “And that's if they can get here.... “There are lots of wealthy people living in the North of England and Scotland, the island is missing out on a huge market with their current approach. “The pensioners don't even come here any more because the island and the hotels which do stay open are catering for the last generation of pensioners. “Today's pensioners don't want to sit around all day playing bingo, they go fishing and hiking, go to the gyms and spas. “They're a much livelier, healthier and wealthier generation than they once used to be but the government appears to have completely missed the change in the habits and lifestyles of UK and European pensioners. They've got the time and the money to travel throughout the year but they're not going to waste it sitting at airports waiting for a connecting flight to a dead destination,” he added.