REGIONAL Tourism Minister, Miquel Nadal, said yesterday in Madrid that amidst what he acknowledged as a “difficult” tourist season this year, the Balearics is getting ready to capture the market in 2010.

Speaking at Spain's National Tourism Council hosted by Central Government's Minister Miguel Sebastian and Secretary of State for Tourism Joan Mesquida, Nadal said that his fast-track strategy has been triggered by signs of recuperation in the economies of key client countries, the United Kingdom and Germany. Nadal said that despite the “setbacks” of this year's season, he is working alongside other government departments to ensure that the region can make highly competitive offers for 2010. Nadal confirmed yesterday that 2009 has not so far been encouraging in comparison with the record numbers of tourists who came to the Islands in 2007 and 2008, but “there have been worse” years he said. Until the end of September, it won't be possible to give an accurate analysis of the season, Nadal added.

Central Government recently made overtures to the Tourist industry at a special meeting of ministers in Palma last Friday. With the construction industry, a number one driving force for the Spanish economy now stagnated, tourism is next on the list to spearhead national recovery. Miguel Sebastian hinted that the government and the tourist industry need to form a closer alliance.

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