The Council of Majorca’s Councillor for Tourism and Sport, Andreu Serra, cannot stress enough how important the British holiday market is to Majorca, and he wants the love affair the British have enjoyed for generations with the island to continue and grow.
Serra’s message to the millions of Britons who come to Majorca every year and those who are thinking about visiting the island is that "Majorca is your home and always will be". Serra is heading to the World Travel Market and the UK with a clear mission and that is to give Britons a unique experience of Majorca on their own doorstep.
"The British market is extremely important to Majorca, it accounts for 33 per cent of the island’s tourist industry, it’s our second largest market. But we want that to increase, and one way in which we are going about that in London is by introducing the UK travel industry and members of the general public to all the new and exciting products and experiences which Majorca has to offer.
"Everybody knows about the glorious summers, beaches and sea we have, but there is still a long way to go in getting the message across that Majorca is open all year and that there is plenty to enjoy during the autumn and the low season. Majorca is a wonderful destination for cycling, hiking, bird watching and golf, for example. It’s a great destination for activity holidays, not to mention meetings and congresses, the gastronomy and culture; and all this in the heart of Europe just a few hours flight away from most main cities.
"Majorca has so much to offer, it’s easy to promote and it’s a product we are very proud to be able to sell. And with the investment made by the public and private sectors over recent years, the standards of quality have been raised significantly. What is more, Majorca offers great value for money. Yes, we do have growing competition but when one looks at what Majorca has to offer, it’s very hard to compete with us. The island has a vast range of excellent accommodation, it boasts a healthy and safe environment, unlimited resources and a first-class infrastructure.
"We cater for everyone, and if people want to go somewhere else because it’s cheaper, then they will get what they pay for. But once they’ve been to Majorca, they’ll realise that they are getting value for money and will return; they will fall in love with the island. What we intend to do is offer Britons a whole new Majorcan experience in London."
Inside the fair, where the Council of Majorca’s slogan will be ‘Mallorca Inspires’, the Council of Majorca will this year, along with local town halls, be sharing the Balearics stand. The reason for this is that the money which has been previously spent on an individual stand is this year being spent on two innovative promotions.
The first has been the purchase of the entire advertising space on a double decker bus, which has been covering one of London’s most central routes for the past two weeks and will continue to do so for the next two weeks. It is covered in images of key locations in Majorca, such as Palma Cathedral and the Tramuntana Mountains. The bus will also be advertising the slogan ‘Mallorca Inspires Autumn’.
The second initiative and the main event for the Council of Majorca is the ‘Fall for Mallorca’ experience which is being held on November 4 at one of the UK’s most popular and famous Spanish restaurants, the Hispania on Lombard Street in the heart of the financial district near Bank tube station.
Serra explained that the thinking behind this is to provide visitors, be they members of the general public, the travel industry, social media influencers or the general media, with an opportunity to "touch, feel and taste" Majorca. The two floors of the Michelin star restaurant are going to be transformed into Majorca for the afternoon, with the experience starting at 4.30pm and running until 9.30pm.
Serra said that they decided on using ‘fall’ because of its double meaning. "Fall meaning autumn and also fall for Majorca has implications of falling in love with the island and that is what we want people to do in London, especially those who have yet to visit the island." The experience will focus on culture, arts and crafts, food, wine and local produce, nature, the environment and the climate. In addition, the Majorcan chef who won Masterchef Spain 2014, Vicky Pulgarin, will be showcooking Majorcan dishes throughout the afternoon for guests to taste.
Away from the promotions, the delegation from the Council of Majorca, headed by the President of the Council, Catalina Cladera, has a packed agenda. Nearly 20 meetings have been organised with the UK’s leading tour operators, travel agents, bed banks and other social media and digital bookings and sales platforms.
Cladera explained that the demise of Thomas Cook in the UK and a rise in popularity of competing destinations has prompted the Council of Majorca to adopt what they have described as "shock" actions to shore up and stimulate the British market and ensure that Majorca, and the region as a whole, continues to be one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations and not just during the summer.
Echoing Serra’s statements, Cladera said: "Sun and sea speaks for itself. What we intend to do is offer Britons a whole new Majorcan experience during the World Travel Market."