The Balearics will be hoping to get the winter message across in Madrid. | Archive

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The Madrid Fitur international tourism fair opens on Wednesday. For the Balearics, the fair comes at a time when there is discernible recovery by competitor destinations such as Turkey and when there is also a doubling in the rate of the tourist tax for this summer season.

While these competitors have been offering incentives to tour operators in order to retrieve the summer tourism business lost due to security fears, the Balearics have been putting the emphasis on low-season tourism. Bel Busquets, appointed tourism minister in December, says that Fitur offers a good opportunity to be in touch with the whole tourism sector and to promote the "successful" Better in Winter campaign. This government campaign, she notes, will "lengthen the tourism season and create long-term and quality contracts".

Busquets adds that in the final months of last year there was a "significant increase" in the number of Spanish visitors. Therefore the message for Fitur is that the Balearics "have much to offer in the medium and low seasons". The promotional emphasis is on heritage an is in line with 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The fair will be officially opened by King Felipe and Queen Letizia tomorrow morning. President Armengol will be attending, and so also will be Busquets. It will be the first tourism and travel fair she has attended since becoming tourism minister. With her will be the new director-general for tourism and the new director of the Balearic Tourism Agency. The former director-general, Pilar Carbonell, the ex-director of the agency, Pere Muñoz, and the former minister, Biel Barceló, were all forced to resign during a two-month period at the end of last year.