Looking back and forward - Hugh Morgan
“I think we are going to see a very different Magalluf next summer and things are only going to get better and better for the resort.”
These were the words of Hugh Morgan, the recently retired former chairman of the Monarch Travel Group, who, in an interview with Humphrey Carter last Sunday, looked to the future of Majorca’s tourism industry and back to the time when he first became involved in the island’s tourism.
It was a fascinating account that started with being area manager for Harry Goodman’s Intasun, which “pretty much cornered the market in Majorca, especially the east coast and Alcudia”.
Among topics that the interview covered was that of tourism promotion, and Hugh argued that money should be spent on “the main markets and with the tour operators because they are the people selling the product”.
He also argued that “paying people like Michael Douglas and Rafael Nadal is not going to do any good”.
Michael Douglas to sell his estate
It was a coincidence that Hugh should refer to Michael Douglas (and indeed to Magalluf) because the Hollywood star and the resort were linked in a letter from G. Scott on Wednesday which expressed sadness at Douglas’s decision to sell his home on the island but also a lack of surprise on account of Majorca “sleep walking itself into mediocrity” and “the stigma of Magalluf”.
The sale of Douglas’s S’Estaca estate featured heavily in the Tuesday edition and prompted Jason Moore in the following day’s Viewpoint to wonder if this was evidence of Majorca losing its shine. The answer was no. The island has not lost its attraction but become “a leading, modern holiday destination”.
New measures for Magalluf
Magalluf was right back on the front page where it has spent much of the year. This time it was because of the announcement of measures that the council in Calvia plans to introduce in order to “bring Magalluf under control”. These measures will include a ban on drinking in the street, the closure of bar doors at midnight and the possible introduction of British police to assist with patrols. Jason Moore feared that the new crackdown (“yet another one!”) might “lead to a major drop in bookings”, while Andrew Ede in The Week in Tourism column referred to a lack of measures to tackle the “far greater problem of crimes perpetrated by the so-called prostitutes and lookies”.
A crackdown on street prostitution was alluded to among the measures without any detail being given as to how this crackdown might be effected.
Children’s Christmas productions
Christmas is coming and last week there were reports on a host of children’s and schools’ Christmas productions: Agora Portals Primary and its “very special and upbeat nativity play”; The Academy School’s events for the youngest pupils, including Year 2’s Where is Santa? play; the Baleares International College’s two nativities and the College’s choir performing for the elderly in Portals Nous and in Porto Pi; N2 Productions’ A Christmas Wish at the Club Pollença. It was notable from reports of these different performances that the tradition of Christmas has been given the gloss of the contemporary, such as is with the College’s Rock the Manger finale by Queen, Agora Portals’ musical, Rock the Baby, and the appearances of Ant and Dec and One Direction in the N2 show.
The pig slaughter
A long-held custom in Majorca in the days or weeks leading up to Christmas has been the slaughter of pigs, whose products traditionally formed part of the fare for the festive season and were able to sustain families for much of the following year.
This slaughter of domestic pigs is not nearly as widespread as it once was, but it is a tradition which does continue and forms the theme for Sineu’s Saint Thomas fair. The Enjoying Majorca column last Sunday looked at this custom and at current-day health-and-safety regulations which relate to the slaughter, while George Giri in his Rural Life column, also last Sunday, explained that the pig would at one time have been taken to the town hall square and been blessed by the priest before being killed. Nowadays, because of the regulations, the pig has to be taken to a legal slaughterhouse.
Looking back and forward - Hugh Morgan
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