At the Majorca Tourist Board's awards on Monday. | Joan Torres


On Monday evening the Fomento del Turismo (Majorca Tourist Board) held its annual awards ceremony, and its president, Eduardo Gamero, took the opportunity to attack government tourism policy, in particular the tourist tax.

Gamero criticised a lack of support for tourism from the government and statements that emanate from political parties about tourists themselves. "There's no point in spending money on promotion to attract tourists, if they then come here and find that they are on the end of negative incidents like the tourismphobia of last summer."

On the tourist tax, Gamero warned that it will reduce Majorca's competitiveness and that it simply draws attention to a measure that penalises tourists who are part of the "social tourism" which comes to Majorca and has limited spending power. He called on local authorities to give greater recognition to the amounts that the tourism industry contributes in the form of municipal taxes.

In the audience to hear Gamero's remarks was the recently appointed director-general of tourism, Antoni Sansó. He has said that it wouldn't be a "drama" if there were to be a loss of one million tourists as a consequence of the increase in the tourist tax next year.

As to the award winners, one was one for Federico Knuchel, the president of Golf de Alcanada and the former president of the Balearic association of golf courses. This was for years of dedication to Majorca's golf tourism sector. There was also a posthumous award for Pablo Piñero of Piñero Hotels.

* The Fomento del Turismo (Majorca Tourist Board) was founded in 1905. It is and always has been a private organisation. Prior to the founding of the regional government in 1983 and the creation of the tourism ministry, the Fomento was responsible for Majorca's tourism promotion.