STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Balearic government is aiming to step up its income from the regional tourist industry next year by upgrading hotel accommodation which currently doesn't meet standards required by law.

According to Miquel Nadal, the regional Tourism Minister, speaking yesterday at a Balearic Parliamentary Budget Committee meeting, his department has a “kitty” originally created in 2008 with which it is planning to upgrade those establishments which are outmoded and are no longer able to be offered to tour operators of key client countries.

This “star project,” said Nadal, has the long-term aim of modernising between 12'000 and 15'000 tourist places which when complete, will mean a boost to the ministry's income of some 80 million euros.

Nadal, struggling with a budget for next year which has been cut by 5.3 percent, confirmed two other major projects aimed at lengthening the tourist season. One is the new Conference Centre and hotel at the eastern end of the Paseo Maritimo in Palma which it is hoped will attract business tourism for 12 months of the year. A sum of 1.5 million euros will be allocated from next year's budget to the Conference Centre. Secondly, Nadal highlighted an ambitious programme for overhauling the Playa de Palma which will need an investment of 10 million euros in 2010.

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