A study by Barcelona-based market research company Salvetti Llombart has found that two-thirds of residents in Playa de Palma have a bad impression of the resort area. This is because of a sense of degradation and a lack of public investment.
The study involved 800 questionnaires and four group meetings. A key finding was the need for economic development that isn't solely based on tourism and which addresses a dependence on summer seasonality. Eighty per cent of those interviewed wanted the promotion of economic activity in order to cut the rates of unemployment and temporary work. Fifty eight per cent felt that Playa de Palma is associated with drunken tourism, while 66% believed that the area is unsafe.
Carmen Planas, president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, points to the hefty investment made by the private sector - some 1,000 million euros - which has not been complemented by public investment. There are needs, she says, for "better aesthetics", for an overhaul of the existing economic structure and for diversification through new and better products.
Javier Vich, president of the Palma and Cala Mayor Hoteliers Association and also president of the Majorca Chamber of Commerce's tourism committee, believes that there has been a clear lack of investment planning by public authorities. As well as public spending, he says that support needs to be given to small and medium-sized businesses in order to bring their standards up to the levels of hotels. "It is necessary to reverse the current image and reposition it at an international level with quality products."