Palma.—The Mayor of Palma, Mateu Isern and the City Councillor for Tourism, Alvaro Gijon, yesterday chaired a high level meeting with captains of the tourist and business sectors in order to lay the ground rules for a new foundation which is going to come into operation next year to seriously promote Palma as an all-year tourist destination.

Present at the meeting were the likes of the Chairman and founder of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer, the Chairman of Globalia and Air Europa, Juan José Hidalgo and the head of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, Juan Gual.

Clear targets
Directors from Air Berlin, the Port Authority, Palma's Hotel Federation, the city's tourist bus company and Logitravel were also present and Palma airport is expected to soon become a member of the foundation.

The new promotional body has yet to have an official name but, in the wake of yesterday's meeting, it does appear to have some clear objectives and targets which all those present agreed on.

Since being elected back in May, Isern has been keen to push the Palma 365 brand and this new public/private foundation will replace the current Municipal Tourism Institute and the bulk of the city council's tourism funding will be ploughed into the new body.

In remains unclear just how much of the money will come from the private sector but Councillor Gijon is confident that it will be between 40 and 50 percent.

Obviously, to make Palma 365 really work, Isern is going to have to sit down with the small to medium sized business community in order to convince shops and restaurants to open over weekends.

Various attempts have been made to encourage the retail sector to be more cooperative but, until now, all efforts have failed.

But, it appears that Isern is determined to make this project work, hence he has called in and secured the support of the island's leading tourism and business bosses.

The President of the Council of Majorca, Maria Salom, also attended the meeting. She wants the island as a whole to be part of any promotional campaigns.


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