STAFF REPORTER A 13-metre long lorry will be heading to Britain to tour the country in a bid to promote Minorca as a tourist destination from Monday. The lorry which has been converted into a giant tourist bus using “warm at heart” as its slogan, will be visiting 11 cities in the United Kingdom from where 577'000 visitors travel to Minorca every year.

The stops which have been targeted by the travelling tourist show are chiefly commercial centres and other key sites where it has been calculated that around 4.3 million people gather each week.

The arrival of the bus will be preceded in the United Kingdom by a massive publicity campaign in newspapers and magazines with a daily circulation of over 200'000. The bus project has not been without controversy and already its tour of the UK has been cut to 15 from 35 days without an accompanying drop in the budget, but it has received support from hotel establishments which account for 17'000 of Minorca's 50'000 tourist places.

Originally, the tour had been planned for January this year and was scheduled to last for about a month, but Tourism Councillor Lazaro Criado explained yesterday that the bitterly cold weather in the United Kingdom convinced both the Council of Minorca and the marketing company contracted to oversee the success of the tour to postpone it.

Criado said that organisers had had the chance to have the bus visit more locations in the UK but had finally decided that the present itinerary would be more effective.

The promotional tour will kick off in the Scottish town of Falkirk where tour operator Thomas Cook has an important base. Other towns on the agenda are Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and London. The bus will remain for one day (9am-5pm) in each location. The interior of the trailer unfolds with a series of giant panels with backdrops of Minorca. Attractions, including acrobats and show cooking will be launched in a tent which will be set up alongside the trailer.