Palma.—Over 20'000 cruise and ferry passengers sailed into Palma yesterday on board five cruise ships and five regular ferries from the mainland.
It was the first day of the year to date that the port has been full and the Director General for Tourism, Jaime Martinez, was on hand to witness the hive of activity in the port and how cruise passengers, those that come ashore, spend their time, and money, in Palma.

He was also interested to see how the official guides operate and he accompanied a group of passengers from the liner Carnival Sunshine on a guided tour of Palma.

Martinez has been a strong defender of Palma's official guides as they try to fight off illegal competition from the non registered and unqualified tour guides and said that his department is in regular contact with the guides to make sure everything is in order and tourists are not getting conned by impostors.

During the excursion organised by Iberostar, the Director General and the cruise passengers visited Bellver Castle, the cathedral, the Pueblo Español and were given some free time to explore the centre of Palma and do some shopping.

During the first six months of this year, the number of cruise passengers visiting Palma has increased by nearly 50 percent in comparison to last year.

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