The transfer of tourism promotion responsibilities from the tourism ministry to the Council of Majorca was formally signed on Tuesday. Those doing the signing were tourism minister Bel Busquets and the Council's president, Miquel Ensenyat.
Along with the transfer of responsibilities will come ten employees at the Balearic Tourism Agency (ATB). For what remains of the current administration (until spring next year), the focus - said Cosme Bonet, the councillor for economic affairs - will be on products for tackling seasonality and on seeking out new tourism markets.
Ensenyat observed that the transfer will strengthen areas of tourism management at the Council and will bring tourism policies closer to the "realities" of the islands (Minorca and Formentera are also gaining responsibilities; Ibiza already has them).
Busquets said that the transfer of promotion and staff demonstrates the value that the government places on the "sovereignty" of each island. She added that the ministry will continue discussions with the Council in respect of the transfer of tourism planning, which may not occur for another year yet.
Bonet explained that although the Council will take charge of some specific promotional areas, it will continue to coordinate overseas promotion with the government in order to display an institutional image. What this means is that at the major travel fairs, for instance, the Council (and therefore Majorca) will form part of the overall Balearic representation.
The ATB is to be renamed the Balearic Strategic Agency for Tourism (AETIB) and it will focus its activities on strategies for promoting tourism sustainability. It will, for example, be in charge of managing projects funded by tourist tax revenue.