IN tandem with central government, regional authorities in the Balearics are, in 2008, to set up the first centre in Spain dedicated to the investigation, development and application of innovative techniques in the tourism sector.

Both Administrations will participate on an equal footing but the headquarters of the project will be located at the technology and waste recycling plant at Parc Bit on Majorca. Carles Manera, Balearic minister for Economy, Tax and Innovation yesterday signed the papers which lay the foundation stone for the creation of “Cidtur” - Centre for the Investigation, Development and Innovation in Tourism. The act took place at the offices of the central government delegation in the Balearics presided over by Ramon Socias in front of a notary.

Pere Oliver, director general of Investigation, Technological Development and Innovation (I+D+i), also present at the signing, pointed out that Cidtur “will not overlap” with other similarly intentioned centres located in the region, such as “Cittib” and “Inestur” or those existing in Madrid and San Sebastian. The reason behind this said Socias, who highlighted the fact that whilst these other services focus on tourist exploration and market analysis, “Cidtur” will concentrate on investigation and its emerging results would serve to improve the quality of this industry throughout the country. The Balearics, nevertheless will have an advantage of being leader in I+D+i applied in this sector. Cidtur will begin its activities with a budget for 2008 for as much as two million euros, paid for in equal parts by central and regional governments, a quantity which Manera considered to be “significant”. The project will be managed by the Balearic ministry for Economy, Tax and Innovation “although with an overall leading role played by the ministry for Tourism”. The 800 square metre offices, under Oliver's direction will be incorporated within the installations of Parc Bit at the beginning of the New Year. “Cidtur” will begin its operations with high quality investigations, the common denominator of all will be that once complete, they can be applied to the tourist industry.