By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE leader of the opposition Partido Popular party, Jose Ramon Bauza, said yesterday that the Balearics, at the moment, can not consider itself a leading tourism destination because of the “tremendous” competition and that a long hard look needs to be taken at the region's holiday industry, the problems clearly indicated and immediate solutions found.

Bauza was addressing a conference entitled “We are all tourism” at the Felipe Moreno University School of Tourism at the Balearic University and underlined the damage the new emerging holiday destinations are doing to the Balearics' once untouchable position as a leading global holiday destination.

The PP leader singled out Turkey, now Germany's number one destination, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe as the Balearics' main competitors and he warned that they are slowly eating into the region's share of the European holiday market it once dominated.

With local election looming next May, Bauza said that the tourist industry and getting back on its feet is going to be one of the pillars of the PP's manifesto. “Training, tourism and the economy are going to be the three concerns in government. “We consider these as the three ingredients to economic recovery in the Balearics,” he explained.
He also revealed that the PP would be prepared to reduce IVA (VAT) to help encourage new tourism activities. Bauza made it clear that the PP would by no means ignore the basic sun and sea market but stressed that a concerted effort will be made to boost nautical, cultural and business tourism in order to diversify the market and lengthen the tourist season.

Bauza also said that the PP would want to have a significant role in the management of the region's port and airports so that they can be used in the best interests of the Balearics.

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