Backing for the nautical industry
Yesterday's paper featured a 40-page supplement for the boat show, this year's event having been destined to break records in terms of level of business. Against the background of the official opening on Thursday by President Armengol, we noted the following day that some 400 million euros of business were expected to be generated. The president, recognising that the Balearics is a community whose "lifeline is tourism", stressed the economic benefits of the nautical sector. The headline - "Balearic president backs nautical industry" - might have implied missing words, such as "into a corner", if a report on Saturday was anything to go by. The association for the islands' marinas was calling for greater support from the government, thus perhaps questioning how much backing there really is.
On Tuesday, we highlighted Andy Murray, who had been training at the Palma Sport and Tennis Club the day before with world number eleven, Milos Raonic, and the Canadian's Majorca trainer, Carlos Moya. While Murray was gearing up for the Madrid Open and the French Open, the cyclists of Majorca were heading towards something of a climax of the spring season. But not all is well with cycling on the island. The Mallorca 312 race, held yesterday, is just one event causing inconvenience because of road closures. Mayors and the Council of Majorca are, as we reported yesterday, looking at placing some limits on events that create disruption.
This very point was reinforced by our consideration - also yesterday - of the way in which parts of the island can be repeatedly affected. In the north of the island, the Ironman triathlon this coming Saturday will mean closures of some of the same roads yesterday. We also drew attention to the rising tensions caused by the number of cyclists. A familiar enough complaint each year, but is a breaking-point now being reached?
Sadly, there was another cyclist death to report. A collision on Thursday between a car and two cyclists along the old Sineu road from Palma resulted in the deaths of the driver and one of the cyclists.
Communicating the tourist tax
The interview we had run the previous week with the tourism minister, Biel Barceló, had been picked up by the media in other countries, such as Russia and Italy. Try as he might, though, the minister's messages about the tourist tax are not removing confusion. The British media, as we said on Friday, was not totally clear on certain aspects, something we attributed to poor communication.
Meanwhile, and as more and more visitors become aware of the tax, there was a further question about its implementation and collection. Bulletin readers have already asked about the legality of having to pay a tax that they were unaware of when booking, and now another said that she would not be paying it. "What are they going to do? Put me in jail?"
The laughing graffiti photo
The anti-tourist graffiti in Palma was still causing a row. The Partido Popular opposition in the city, via its town hall spokesperson, Marga Duran, accused the town hall administration of "inaction" over the graffiti. While she was criticising the "exasperating slowness" of cleaning it off, she also suggested that rather than spending money on "totally dispensable projects", the town hall should invest in a campaign to convince visitors that there will be a warm welcome for them. Duran and other members of the party were photographed by one of the examples of the graffiti. One of the photos, which we carried, was very unfortunate, as there were smiling faces and some laughter. And these were the ones attacking the administration. "Morons", "clowns", "idiots" featured among reader reactions.
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