STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Balearic Environment Ministry and the Majorcan Tourist Board are to work together to promote Majorca as an eco-friendly tourist destination.
Minister Miquel Angel Grimalt and the Board's chairman, Alvaro Middelman signed an agreement yesterday in which the Tourist Board committed at both a national and international level, to market the image of the island as a holiday destination which respects its own environment and which doesn't erode its natural resources beyond a sustainable level. Getting the message across to the public said a government source, could include giving a high profile to Majorca's environmental management programme throughout the tourist industry. Such campaigns may also include other conservationist material put forward by the ministry.

To complete the other side of the bargain, the ministry committed to providing the Tourist Board with the information and means necessary to meet its promotional objectives. It's an important point to consider, said the spokesman that 27'000 of the tourist places available on Majorca are in hotel establishments which have incorporated their own environmental management systems.

The agreement also embraced the Tourist Board's use of international media networks to advertise Majorca's commitment to sustainable tourism, as well as the organisation of visits to the island by journalists and tour operator representatives specialising in this aspect of tourism.

Another step to promote Majorca as an eco-friendly holiday destination, said the government source, would be for representatives from both the ministry and the Tourist Board to visit national and international fairs and congresses on sustainable tourism. At such events, the Majorcan Tourist Board will take the opportunity to highlight actions taken by the Environment ministry to conserve the natural heritage of Majorca. Middelman spoke of the support that the Tourist Board were providing to moves being made for Unesco to list the Tramuntana mountains as a Biosphere (nature) reserve. Middelman said that part of the government responsibility in ensuring the success of the project is to guarantee the economic viability of agricultural businesses already established in the mountain range. Thus the nature reserve would also reflect and conserve the traditional lifestyle of the Majorcan people, a further tourist attraction.

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