Biel Barceló, when taking office earlier this year. | CAIB

The regional tourism minister, Biel Barceló, has told parliament that the councils of the four islands of the Balearics will have responsibility for tourism promotion transferred to them from the regional administration and that this will be in place by 2017. 

Barceló said that this will be done in a way that ensures that there isn’t a repeat of the “chaos” of the last government, as councils refused to accept the responsibility because of insufficient funding (Minorca and Formentera) or because it was not wanted (Majorca).

Barceló added that talks are ongoing with these three councils over the transfer of promotion powers and that a “road map” for doing so was being drawn up. As for Ibiza, which was the only council to agree to taking on responsibility, the minister noted that it had done so but was not totally satisfied.

While the transfer of these powers will not occur immediately, the tourism ministry is nonetheless discussing with the councils how promotional efforts at travel fairs are to be co-ordinated in 2016.

The Partido Popular deputy, Alvaro Gijón, criticised the government for its “improvisation” in tourism matters, pointing to contradictory statements that have been made regarding the tourist tax, the regulation of private holiday accommodation and indeed the transfer of powers to the island councils.