HOTELIERS on the Playa de Palma have put an end to sensation-seeking German television companies filming in the area, according to Francisco Marin, the president of the local hoteliers association. He called this type of programme “terrorist television” which, in his opinion, only reflects the negative aspects of tourism. What's more, he added, many of the incidents reported were “set up” by the camera crews and reporters. Marin explained that this year, as soon as the association heard of the first sensationalist camera teams in the area, it issued a note to all members, advising them to identify any representatives of the German television channels at their hotel, and to make sure that staff members accompanied the reporters and cameramen at all times. Marin said that this tactic “has given good results” and in less than a week, all the sensationalist channels suspended filming.
He added that this was a “triumph” as the number of such teams had been growing over the past five years, and nothing could be done to counteract the negative publicity. Miguel Angel Violan, the communications director of the Riu hotel chain, corroborated Marin's statements, but added that it did have a down side, where staff members tended to “suspect” all guests, as the methods used by the TV channels included introducing reporters incognito. Violan said that this type of programme was very prevalent in Germany at the moment. They claimed to be consumer programmes, “seeking to denounce allegedly bad quality in Majorcan hotels,” for which they used tricks like hidden cameras or false experts. Violan said that while a few years ago these programmes maintained a balance between information and spectacle, they now concentrated on the spectacle. As a result, they try to generate conflictive situations. Both Marin and Violan agreed that the sensationalist teams would return to the Playa de Palma next year, and said that every effort should be made to prevent these programmes which damage the tourist image of Majorca. In June, the Balearic tourism ministry promised to monitor these broadcasts in Germany, but so far has not issued a report on its findings.
The main channels which carry out this type of sensationalist programmes in the Playa de Palma are RTL-2, Pro 7 and Sat 1.
They have also made similar programmes in other parts of the Balearics, such as Ibiza, and other parts of Spain such as the Costa del Sol or the Canary Islands.


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