Representatives from the Council of Majorca travelled to New York at the end of last week to promote the creation of direct air routes to the island. The Council wants to increase the number of North American tourists, which last year was around 40,000.

On Friday, there was a presentation under the title of 'Majorca inspires culture'. Chefs Maria Solivellas y Miquel Gelabert prepared a varied tasting menu of island cuisine, which featured a novel version of Majorcan coca pastry. Singer Julia Colom performed the

The Council's president, Miquel Ensenyat, said that the aim is to strengthen Majorca's position in international markets by promoting aspects of the island that are less well known (than sun and beach). Cuisine, he noted, "has great potential because of the talent and creativity".

As well as the contacts that the Council is establishing, the airports authority Aena is in discussion with North American businesses. Supporting the presentation were representatives from the Aviba travel agents association, the Majorca Hoteliers Federation and the Spanish government's tourism agency Turespaña. The Council has stressed the support that is coming from the hoteliers.

Some one hundred representatives from tour operators, travel agencies and the specialist tourism media attended the presentation.