By Humphrey Carter

PALMA City Council and the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce have agreed to create a special commission to promote the city as a major tourist destination.

The announcement came just 24 hours after a new plan to extend shop, bar, restaurant, museum and gallery opening hours during the week over the summer was unveiled.

The tourism promotion commission was first tabled in 2008 and now, two years down the line, it was finally given the green light with support from the Majorcan Unionist Party and Partido Popular on Palma city council. The Majorcan Hotel federation is also going to have a role in the private/public sector body.

Palma City Councillor for Tourism Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Joan Maria Borras, explained yesterday that the new commission, which will be headed by the city council and the Chamber of Commerce, is going to be based on the model of commissions which have already been launched by a number of Spanish cities such as Barcelona, Lanzarote, Sevilla, Sitges and Tenerife.

Borras said that the council wants to encourage city residents to get involved and in put in the promotional commission which will affect the city as a whole. On Monday, the Majorcan Hotel Federation and the Balearic Association of Hotel Chains, agreed to combine their efforts in confronting the worst crisis the regional tourist industry and economy has suffered.

The two bodies hope that by bringing the small, medium independent hotels together with the major chains, they will be able to work closely together in combating the crisis. Aurelio Vazquez, President of the Balearic Association of Hotel Chains said; “Majorca is in a very delicate situation from the point of view of the tourist industry and the economy so we've decide to work together and develop a clearer view of where we want to be going and what we believe should be done to pull us all out of this crisis.”