Miquel Ensenyat and the Council of Majorca will have much greater tourism promotion powers. | Jason Moore


The island councils will begin to exercise their responsibilities for tourism promotion during the first quarter of 2018. This has been confirmed at a meeting of the government and councils committee for transfer of powers. The next step will be for separate meetings between the government and the individual councils to firm up the transfer procedures.

Following the meeting, tourism minister Biel Barceló explained that the agreement covers each island (Ibiza has already taken on certain responsibilities) and that funding has gone up by 1.5 million euros from what was originally proposed. There will be an additional 7.5 million euros between 2018 and 2022. This will be distributed according to the number of tourism accommodation places, protected areas and population on each island.

The transfer of responsibilities will mean a reorganisation of the Balearic Tourism Agency (ATB), given that most promotion will now be undertaken by the island councils. The government will retain powers of coordination, strategic definition, analysis and coordination with the national tourism agency, Turespaña. In addition, the government will control the management of the tourist tax. But the bulk of responsibility for tourism promotion will lie with the councils.

Barceló added that the ATB's name will change and that some personnel will remain. Other staff will be deployed elsewhere.

The committee has also approved the transfer of functions related to social services. This development as well as that related to tourism promotion led Council of Majorca president Miquel Ensenyat to observe: "The government of each island is to be the island council."