By Humphrey Carter

THE associations of bar owners in Magalluf and Punta Ballena are joining forces to create a new business association to “save Calvia”.
Members of the two associations agreed to push ahead with the official merger at a meeting held on Wednesday night in order to beat the credit crunch which is hitting the tourism industry in the area hard. “The only chance businesses have is to unite and stand together as one. This may be the last chance,” Santa Ponsa bar owner and leading business person Linda Ledwidge said yesterday.

The association is open to business people of all nationalities and even people who may not be directly involved in busines or tourism but simply want to help support what the association stands for - saving Calvia and its tourist industry.

The association is represented by a team of lawyers who are currently consulting legal experts over the laws governing noise levels and business practices in the tourist industry in general.

For the moment, Calvia Council has apparently put the decision to force bar owners to close all doors and windows at 11pm, instead of midnight, on hold.

But, the association is warning local businesses that this is only a “temporary” decision and “not to be lulled into a false sense of security”.
The association intends to approach all local businesses and outline what it stands for and what its intentions are.

The association is going to draw up a plan of action to “legally fight for the right to promote and run business in a way that promotes tourism and gives the tourists what they want.” Association sources said yesterday “it is important that we all remember that this is a tourist destination and that we all live from tourism, whether it is directly or indirectly, and if things are allowed to continue in the present vein, we may as well pack up and go elsewhere as there will be no economy in Majorca.” The tourist industry in Calvia has experienced a gradual downturn in trade and business over the past few years but the association fears that unless some kind of action is taken now to save Calvia, the future “will not be pleasant.” Some bars have seen takings dive by as much as 60 percent and hundreds of resort businesses and shops may be forced to close if there is not a late surge in visitors.