STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
BETWEEN 4'000 and 5'000 people are visiting the Balearic pavilion at the Zaragoza's Expo 2008 every day. And more are expected when the predicted number of daily visits to the Expo increases from 60'000 to 90'000 over the next two months.

The entrance to the Balearic Pavilion is made up of a mosaic of glazed hexagons painted blue and brown, which reflects the fusion of the islands' sea and land. The hexagon has the same form as a molecule of water. The pavilion is divided into three spaces. In the first, a 10-minute audiovisual display shows how water has moulded the islands. In the second section, a seven-minute display of images and sounds tell the story of the different cultures that have exited throughout Balearic history. In the final section, a three-minute video on a 360-degree screen generates a “cloud of sensations”.

The image of the Balearics that is being promoted at the Expo is different to the traditional one of the beach and sun, said the Balearic Government's Director General, Francisco Galvez. Instead, the Balearics is being promoted as sustainable destination that is environmentally friendly. Different images of the Balearic coastline are being used to produce a “voyage of the senses”. Galvez says that over the next couple of months, he expected that between 7'000 and 8'000 people would visit the pavilion every day, thanks to its location beside the Spanish Pavilion.

The Balearic President, Francesc Antich, who visited the , 3-million euro, 380 square-metre pavilion earlier this week during Expo's Balearics Day, expressed his “satisfaction” at being able to show what was being done in the islands to protect the environment and the landscape. He said this was very important for “citizens' quality of life and for our principal industry which is tourism”.

The Balearic Minister for the Environment, Miquel Angel Grimalt, said the pavilion showed what was being done in the community as regards the responsible use of water. He said it showed “the projects and measures that we have adopted in recent years to assure that the islands don't have any problems in relation to water and that we properly manage these scarce resources to that we can provide a quality water supply as much to our citizens as to visitors”.

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