The World Travel Market opens in London on Monday and the Balearic Islands are going to be pushing sport and gastronomic tourism.
Today, the vice-president of the Balearics and the minister for tourism, Biel Barceló, unveiled the region’s promotional strategy for London and that is going to be putting the emphasis on the region’s excellent sports facilities, activities and events as well as the Balearics’ vast and varied range of quality cuisine and gastronomy.
And to support the Balearic promotional campaign, on Tuesday Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sean Kelly and Casey Morgan will be helping to launch the promotion at the Balearics stand. Tour de France, World Champion and triple Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley is no stranger to Majorca. He not only trained on the island for nearly two decades for Team GB and then Team Sky, with which he won the Tour, before setting up his own team and moving to ride for UCI Continental, he also owns a property in the north east of the island, and Majorca has become home from home for the cyclist and his family.
Sean Kelly is also a regular visitor who loves cycling here in Majorca. Kelly is an Irish former professional road racer who was one of the most successful road cyclists of the 1980s, and one of the finest classics riders of all time. He retired in 1994 with 188 professional wins under his belt. And these two cycling legends will be joined by the Scottish Ultra Trial runner Casey Morgan who won the last Trail Menorca Costa Norte race this year.
The sports presentation will be followed by a tasting of food prepared by the chef from the Hotel Es Mares in Formentera, Juan Ramon Cabo, and the head of cooking at the Balearic Hostelry School, Jose Maria Calonge. There will also be a presentation of sobrasadas and Minorcan cheeses at the Iberia restaurant in Canary Wharf which will also feature a number of top local wines.
Members of the British press and leading UK distributors have been invited to the presentation to taste the very best of what the Balearics has to offer and - the government and producers hope - place some orders for the UK market. The Balearic stand will again form part of the Turespaña, Spanish Tourist Board pavilion and will be divided into four areas, one for each island.
The Foundation Palma de Mallorca 365 will also have a stand this year as a co-exhibitor highlighting Palma as a city break destination.
There will be a central point screening images of the islands and two simulators offering visitors to the stand the opportunity to enjoy a virtual cycle on a number of tours or races around the Balearics. The Balearic Tourism Agency, which is charged with promoting the Balearics at travel trade fairs around the world throughout the year, is behind organising the exhibition with a budget of around 250,000 euros.