Police successes in some ways in Magalluf, but what about the bigger problems?

30-07-2016Michel's

Tourism records?
It is not untypical for there to be a gap between what is reported and what is generally believed to be the case. In Majorca this division of factual information and perceptions is commonly revealed when it comes to the reporting of tourism and police performance. The past week was no different in either regard.

Last Sunday, Humphrey Carter queried the evidence as to a "record tourism year". Would the season turn out to be something of an anticlimax? On Tuesday came news of concerns regarding overbooking. This, as we pointed out on Wednesday, is normal and is a situation that is accounted for and managed by hotels. However, the concerns were that demand was making this usually managed situation difficult to control. Was there in fact an availability of alternative accommodation?

So, was overbooking evidence of the record year? Perhaps it was, but then how is "record" defined? Numbers alone may offer this definition, but observations challenge it, especially when it comes to what is being spent. There again, these observations vary from place to place. An apparently poor season for Magalluf bar owners is not reflected, say, by a 15% rise in Palma restaurants' turnover, assuming that this fact, as reported during the week, is taken to be true.

Yesterday, there was evidence of what the "record" year is meaning in terms of tourist numbers. The Balearics had scooped a quarter of all foreign tourists coming to Spain in June. This was a rise of more than 11%. Surely here was the evidence. Possibly it was, but mere numbers, as ever, can be taken to prove everything or nothing. It depends on perceptions.


Police in Palma and Calvia
Where the police are concerned, we learned that the Palma force was hailing its "success" in removing illegal sellers from the Cathedral area. This, however, only means that different sales areas are used. As to success, well one of you considered that this must be a "joke", as the sellers are to be seen everywhere. Another of you reported having been "plagued" by them while at Bar Bosch at the top of the Born.

From Calvia, meanwhile, came news of the number of "denuncias" issued by police for breaches of the municipality's tougher bylaws. Overwhelmingly these were for illegal selling, with beach massage also popular with the local force. Our report observed that there was no information related to what many consider to be the greater problems, such as the mugging prostitutes of Magalluf. In this regard, one of you observed: "Believe what you see, not what they tell you". This echoed views from Tuesday. In a feature on Majorca's "dark side", there was a call for Calvia to quit the obfuscation and start making "totally clear" statements about the situation with prostitutes and the attendant violence and crime.


Intu's shopping centre project
Wednesday's front page heralded the plan for "massive investment" by a leading British firm. This was the plan for a shopping centre with various attractions in Palma, and it was coming from Intu, known in the UK for its numerous shopping centres. Its directors suggested that there was support for the plan from "political authorities". This certainly didn't seem to be the case with the town hall or the regional government, as later in the week both said they were against the project. Unions seemed to be the only ones backing it. As to the the unions considering that the project would provide a "sustainable tourism product", a reader described this as "a load of rubbish" and applauded the town hall's opposition.


Low Cost, Branson and Murray
Otherwise last week, we heard from Paul Evans, the CEO of the collapsed Low Cost Travel Group. He was expressing his sorrow because of what had happened to staff, customers and others in the travel industry. Trading, we found out, had continued up to the bitter end, as there was hope that a buyer would step in. It didn't.

Richard Branson and Virgin Limited Edition were getting support for the tourist development of the Son Bunyola estate, and it was coming from the mayor of Banyalbufar. It was opposition to Branson's plans from a previous mayor that had led him to sell the estate (it was re-purchased last year).

And Andy Murray was in Majorca, enjoying some time off with his family. On Instagram he noted that despite the weather, he was finding it difficult to "catch a good tan".

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