Palma.—With this year having been a hugely successful and lucrative one for Palma's cruise port, the city council has come up with an idea of how to make the very best of next year's cruise traffic which is already expected to be higher than this year.

Under the umbrella of the council's ‘Palma 365' promotional campaign to try and transform the capital into an all year tourist destination, the new website is being designed to establish a much closer working relationship between the cruise industry and the city's commercial sector.

Making the most of the potential on offer from tourism, and in particular cruise tourism, is one of the city authority's primary targets for 2012.
And yesterday, Palma City Councillor for Tourism, Alvaro Gijon, explained how the new website is going to work.

Concise information
Not only will it provide a clear and concise calendar of cruise liner movements, for example the days on which they are going to be in port and for how long.

Information will be pooled from various sources such as the cruise lines themselves and the Balearic Port Authority and the idea is that the restaurant and retail sector will be able to consult the website, examine what cruise activity there is and adjust their opening times accordingly, for example.

With proposals on the table for certain areas of the city centre to be declared special tourist zones, businesses in these zones will have the choice of even opening on Sundays should they consider it worth while based on cruise traffic on any given Sunday.

Full support
The project has been given the full support of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce and the relevant information can be found on either the council's www.palma.es website or the tourism department's wwwpalmavirtual.es site.

Gijon said yesterday that the council is committed to making a “constant and concerted effort” to not only improve communications between the business sectors and the cruise industry but to also provide cruise passengers with as much information about Palma and the island as possible.

Museums and other attractions will also be encouraged to access the website so they too can cash in on another year of record cruise passenger arrivals and open more often.

According to Gijon's latest data, cruise passengers spend an average of between 70 and 80 euros while in port and this year, Palma has handled 1'8 million cruise passengers.

That is 20 percent more than last year when 1'5 million passengers put into Palma on board 523 cruise liners and the forecast for 2012 is another increase in ship and passenger traffic.

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