THE Local authorities in Palma, Calviá and Llucmajor will join forces with the Balearics' Ministry of Tourism in a combined programme of activities aimed at reviving tourism in the Bay of Palma during the winter season. Other initiatives will form part of the collaboration, such as a pilot scheme for coastal cleaning which will begin in August.
Announcements were made yesterday by the Islands' Minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer, following talks with the mayors of Palma, Catalina Cirer, of Calviá, Carlos Delgado, and Llucmajor, Lluc Tomás. Flaquer pointed out that 40 percent of the Balearic hotel industry is located within the three municipalities which go to make up the Bay of Palma. It is “potentially the most important area for low and mid tourist season development” he said. It enjoys several key points of tourist infrastructure such as golf courses and sports centres. He stressed that although no concrete plan of action has yet been formulated nor a budget set, the three local authorities need to prepare a common programme ”to bring life to these tourist areas”. “We've got to revive ´Winter in Majorca´” said Flaquer making reference to the cultural programme developed years ago with special focus on the low season. The mayors and the minister also agreed during their meeting to co-operate on the organization of the Congress of the Association of British Travel Agents that will be taking place in Palma between 31 October and 3 November this year, and at which some 1'800 professionals of the industry are expected to attend. Another key issue on which collaboration will be necessary is the application that the city of Palma is making to be the host for the 2007 America's Cup sailing championship. If the candidacy is accepted, use will need to be made of both public and private infrastructure in Calviá and Llucmajor. Still on this theme, Catalina Cirer, Palma's mayor pointed out that the Bay of Palma will also be the location for the 2012 Olympic Games regattas, as a subsidiary centre to the principal hosts, Madrid. She also referred, amongst other issues, to the necessity of co-operating with Llucmajor's Town Hall on the restoration of deteriorated areas situated in the Bay of Palma abutting the Llevant motorway. With regard to the cleaning project along the coastal area of the Bay of Palma, Flaquer proposed that it should be carried out during August and September with the aid of a specially designed rented vessel that would suck residual waste from the waters of the Bay of Palma. Separately, the Minister for Tourism used the occasion to give instructions to the local authority heads that if their respective town halls have any projects “waiting in the wings” that are to be financed by funds from the eco-tax, popularly known as the “Tourist tax”, the schemes must be individually evaluated and the decision made at a local level as to whether to continue with it or not.

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