In reply to Jason Moore’s Viewpoint article yesterday bemoaning the lack of flights to Majorca in the winter, I fully agree with him.
I have long advocated that companies like easyJet and Ryanair should put on flights from rural airports in Britain on a once a week basis.
For instance Ryanair could fly on a Monday out of Bournemouth, discharge the passengers in Palma and return to Exeter. From Exeter they fly back to Palma and return to Glasgow and so on. After a week the cycle goes full circle and they schedule a flight back from Palma to Bournemouth so that the previous week’s passengers can get home to UK.
I suspect that this would entail the airports, including Palma, to give the airlines a break on landing fees to make it viable but I am sure a weekly schedule would be popular enough with both home owners and winter tourists to make it viable for the airlines. It would certainly make it more attractive to have a holiday home in Majorca. There are also a lot of people in Majorca who come here, or go to the UK on business, so having flights only into London is crazy.
A winter on Majorca
It is not the weather in winter Majorca that is the problem; it is a combination of factors.
I am from Ireland and broadly split my time between there and Majorca. Some facts about Ireland, the average annual temperature in Ireland is 10 degrees, think of it, just like today (Monday).
Summer average is around 15-20 and winter 7-8 degrees.
Oh, and there is frequent rain in Ireland, to paraphrase the often mentioned rain maxim 365 days, 300 of them rain.
Even with this apparently unattractive weather a major pillar of the Irish economy is Tourism.
Ireland attracts over six million tourists a year. They don’t come to lie on the beaches which are some of the best in the world.
Approximately 3m visit historical/cultural attractions; three quarters of a million engage in activities – angling; cycling; equestrian; golf; hiking/walking. www.failteireland.ie
Now isn’t Majorca rich in historical/cultural attractions and doesn’t it have great infrastructure and topography for cycling; equestrian; golf; hiking/walking?
As for Palma, as someone who knows Dublin and Belfast, I can say with confidence that Palma can match anything that these cities can offer.
So problem factor one, why don’t Government tourist organisations and the tourist industry in general promote these diverse products to a greater holistic extent to British and German markets at least?
Problem factor two, tourism is essentially a retail service industry and there are two core maxims in retail services – location and open-all-hours. Location at the Majorcan level is not an issue.
Open-all-hours is a serious problem in Majorca.
Problem factor three is one of the reasons for the above. Most of the retail business in Majorca can be categorised as SME (small to medium enterprises). Such businesses have three major limitations – limitations of resources; limitations of finance; limitations of impact upon the market place. So when things go quiet through shortage of customers, a small business is forced to close.
Julie Blunn’s excellent Bulletin article at the weekend touched politely on the issue of reallocating some of the ‘…Balearics pot of money…’
I am aware that most small businesses pay a flat monthly/quarterly tax just to be open for business.
Why can’t this tax be cancelled in winter months for small businesses in all year round ‘zones of great tourist influence’, surely a relatively easy step to take. Such a tax on small businesses is crazy anyway because of what I’ve outlined above.
Better to tax on revenues and profits with regular tax inspections, this would enable small businesses to better manage their limitations.
The Majorcan tourism industry, both public and private sectors need to think in a holistic strategic way if it is to break out of Julie Blunn’s ‘vicious cycle’.
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