A desire to ensure there is a diversity of businesses. | J. Gilabert


On Monday, the Balearic tourism minister, Jaume Bauzá, rejected the call from the CAEB Restaurants Association for a moratorium on new bars and restaurants in Mallorca and the rest of the Balearics.

Alfonso Robledo, the association's president, advocated a moratorium as a means of raising quality and of ensuring a diversity of businesses. In his view, the authorities must do everything possible to ensure this diversity, as landlords prefer to rent out to the restaurant sector rather than to shops because restaurants will pay higher rents. "The majority of restaurant owners are tenants. If everything is bars and restaurants, streets will just become nighttime areas."

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Although the minister turned down the proposal, he said that the ministry would work with the restaurant sector in encouraging increased quality. He indicated that new quality certifications could be included in the upcoming tourism law.

Robledo welcomed this suggestion, adding that the association will be holding talks with town halls, as these are the authorities which grant opening licences for bars and restaurants. He referred to the zoning of restaurants that already exists in Palma, arguing that zoning could be applied in other municipalities. The aim of this zoning is to prevent new restaurants opening in areas prone to being "saturated" by the number of restaurants.

He stressed that "quality is not related to prices" but rather to the modernisation and improvement of services provided to customers.