Raising petitions has never been easier, thanks to web facilities such as change.org, and the value of this petitioning site was demonstrated by two petitions which featured heavily last week.
On Sunday’s front page, we drew attention to the call to ban horses and carriages in Palma which had followed the publicity given to distressing photos of a horse which had fainted because of heat stroke. By the end of the week, the number of signatures had risen from the 7,700 that we reported on Sunday to 70,000. Those leading the campaign intend to hand in the petition to Palma’s Council in an attempt to bring about a ban.
Mindful of potential loss of jobs, the campaigners suggested that the carriages could be replaced with classic cars “just like many other advanced and conscientious cities have done across the world”. This prompted a letter from Mike Lillico on Tuesday. Detesting ill-treatment of animals, Mike nonetheless struck a pragmatic note by pointing to the fact that horses’ lives might be lost because they would “no longer have a purpose”.
On Wednesday, another petition came to light, one started by this newspaper calling for more winter flights. On Friday, we highlighted comments appended to the petition from those who had signed it, and they were coming from Spanish as well as English speakers. As noted on Friday, Spanish residents want more flights in order to be able to more easily visit family in the UK and because they would be beneficial in generating more jobs and income in a “proper winter tourism season”.
The subject of winter flights was one touched on in a wide-ranging interview on Sunday with Professor Emeritus of Marketing, David Carson, an expert in tourism marketing. David referred to the lack of flights as an example of the way in which “Majorca is not in control of its tourist product”. Among other challenging observations that he had to make were ones regarding the Tramuntana mountains World Heritage Site status (”one of the worst things that could have happened”) and branding of Majorca, which he suggested was characteristed by “naivety”.
Still on winter flights, on Tuesday Andrew Ede, considering the award of the concession to manage Palma’s Palacio de Congresos convention centre (and its completion perhaps by the end of this year), observed that its success may well depend on there being more direct international flights in the off-season, which is when conferences are mainly staged.
Security in Magalluf
It had previously been raised as a possibility, and on Thursday we looked again at British police being on the streets of Magalluf in summer and so joining counterparts from France and Germany who were first deployed on the island last season.
On Friday, Jason Moore wondered if this would be “more a public relations exercise rather than anything else”, but if British police do come to the resort they will be part of the new security operation planned for Magalluf this summer.
Arrangements for control in the resort were given additional teeth by provisions contained in the final version of the new Balearics Tourism Law. Specifically, party boats are to become the responsibility of the tourism ministry, so ending confusion as to which body does actually have responsibility. The emphasis (on anti-social behaviour) in Magalluf has shifted in recent weeks to the party boats, but while security plans that tackle this behaviour are being discussed and supposedly implemented, many Magalluf residents will be aware that the greater problem of the mugging prostitutes appears not to receiving anything like the same attention.
Disaster for Real Mallorca
The Bulletin has been active over the past few weeks in forming a subscribers’ club and a supporters’ club for Real Mallorca. The second lunch for the subscribers’ club - another great success - was held during the week, but meanwhile over at Real Mallorca, the football club (as opposed of course to the supporters’ club) was enduring another of its regular crises. Defeat at home to bottom-four side Racing Santander was, said Monro Bryce, “an unmitigated disaster”. “Local fans were left in a state of despair” as Mallorca edged down the table to the relegation zone.
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