A "patera" boat of the type used by illegal immigrants.

21-05-2017Miquel A. Cañellas

Police work
It was a busy week for the police forces. The brutal murder of Juan Antonio Florit in Sencelles on Monday led to the arrest of the former boyfriend of his daughter. As the Guardia Civil pieced together what had happened, it was revealed that the accused, Antonio B.F., had gone to the finca in Sencelles to demand money. Out of work, his financial worries were linked to his drug addiction (cocaine). This has become an unfortunate recurring theme. Cocaine has been associated with other murders in Majorca, as it has been with road accident deaths. The regular reports of Guardia and National Police operations against drugs remind us of the crucial efforts that are being made by the security forces in tackling this scourge.

The week before last, the Guardia were involved in a drugs operation that was centred on Soller prior to the big party on Monday to coincide with the Moors and Christians battle. While police controls seem to have ensured that the overwhelming majority of visitors and participants were able to enjoy one of the island's premier fiesta occasions, they can't curb everything. A 36-year-old man was arrested for molesting a 20-year-old woman. The town's mayor described the incident as deplorable.

More illegal immigrants arrived on the south and south-east coasts of Majorca. Three small boats were detected, and a total of 28 illegal immigrants were detained. They will be deported. The national government's delegate in the Balearics, Maria Salom, expressed her concern at the rising number of cases of attempted illegal immigration.


Controlling Palma's resorts
In Palma, the local police reinforcements for the summer season were presented. A "mass deployment" to take the number to 92 will mainly be patrolling Playa de Palma. The town hall's councillor for public safety, Angelica Pastor, said that the police will be targeting drinking and illegal selling, among other things. Earlier in the week, the president of the residents' association in Arenal criticised, and not for the first time, the attitude of the town hall and called for additional policing. The season had started and nothing had changed. There were the same old problems, such as drinking and illegal selling.

Meanwhile, it became evident that the town hall is divided over how to deal with illegal selling. The Partido Popular accused Podemos and Més of seeking to authorise it.


Touristification
We highlighted a new word in the tourism lexicon: "touristification". It has recently come to prominence and been used in various articles. One that we quoted was by a journalist in Madrid who wrote that five apartment buildings have, over the course of a year, become solely for holiday rental use. In his own building, only five out of fifteen apartments are now for residents. By coincidence, there was a report about the environmentalists GOB on the same day. They referred to "touristification" and called for there to be alternatives to tourism. Which was all very well, but they didn't indicate what these alternatives might be.


Tourism quality
Directors of Spain's tourism offices in European cities had gathered in Palma for a meeting with the hoteliers and the national tourism agency, Turespaña. Different reports emerged from this meeting. One pointed to a 3% increase in UK tourism to the islands but also to a UK tourism spend lower than that by tourists from other nationalities. There was a further report, not linked to this meeting, which suggested that UK tourism was in fact becoming more profitable for the local tourism industry. From Germany, the director of the Munich office seemed unconcerned by a drop of up to ten per cent in German tourism to the island. The fall was among the low-spending end of the market. Strategy for greater quality was working. He argued that it was time to talk about millions of euros and not about millions of tourists. 

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Brian / Hace over 3 years

Some comments here about less spending by the British. Many tourist last year came with a fixed spending limit and did not know until arrival at the hotel that they would be subject to a tourist tax. For a family of four over two weeks that amounts to a fair amount of money. So that cash went to the government not to the local businesses. Now if that calculation was taken and those fees added to net spend by the British would that account for the shortfall I wonder. Whatever is collected in tourist taxes needs to be added to the total spend when calculations are made as to what is being spent.

Effectively this money is being taken off local businesses for payment to the government in tourist taxes.

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