Dear Sir, May I be permitted to reply to the letter of Mrs. Brenda Wall? (Majorca Daily Bulletin February 4) I trust so.
I will be as concise as possible:
1. If, as is admitted, it is just not Majorca's problem - then may we learn as to where else these appalling holidays occur?
2. Majorca IS a popular destination NOT was.
3. The approach - I repeat is based on sensationalising everything tabloid press style.
4. I am not sure if this is not an opportunity to add a little fuel to the fire of the Aguamar problem.
5. If you don't wish to embarrass Majorca further - then we have to “Look at the bigger picture” the fall off in tourism is worldwide not just here and its drop here is not caused by a general belief that we living on Majorca reside on a island that carries a health warning.
6. I sincerely trust that you control the way in which your complaints are presented on television though your letter does not confirm this.
7. Lastly I would state that I am NOT a Hotelier or a Tour Operator - just an ordinary person who is proud to live in Spain and in Mallorca and I am tired of the UK media in whatever form slating the overall success of this island. I accept that the UK is obsessed with health but would close as I did before “Physician heal thyself.” Yours

Alan Morris. Calvià

The million dollar question

Does Majorca want five million tourists or 500'000 visitors who spend ten times more? This is the one million dollar question which tourism chiefs are faced with at the moment. I get the impression that the Balearic government would prefer the second option. Basically, the message from the Balearic tourism ministry is that they want more “selective tourism” in a clear sign that they want to move away from the bucket and spade market. Every holiday destination in the world would like to attract the big spenders but is Majorca capable of doing so? In its present state I feel not. Bar and restaurant services will have to be substantially improved and a whole new philosophy installed into people's minds. The days of casual disregard and the cheap and cheerful attitude will have to be scrapped. Moving up-market doesn't mean just covering over the cracks and organising a couple of concerts and promoting the opera season, it means a complete revolution at all levels of the tourist industry. A sizeable number of hotels, employing many hundreds of people, along with hundreds of bars and restaurants will be surplus to requirements. It is all very well making bold statements indicating that the island no longer wants 150 pound tourists but a good percentage of the industry is geared towards this market. Perhaps it would be an idea if the Balearics found the happy medium and devised a strategy if change is really wanted. But expensive government reports telling everyone what they already know is not the answer. If the Balearics wants to strike out then work on this revolution must start now because quality cannot just be judged by a label it must have the fundamental foundations as well.

Jason Moore

A necessary journey

Overseas visits by Monarchs, Presidents and Prime Ministers have to be arranged long in advance and often when the time comes to climb the steps to the departing aircraft the chosen dates will seem to be most inconvenient. Given the chance, Tony Blair would probably have preferred to defer the African trip on which he has now embarked so that he could deal with the difficulties his intemperate remarks about “wreckers” of Britain's public services have caused. However, that option was not open to him.

The prime minister should not be criticised for wanting to go to Africa. In his speech to the Labour Party conference last September he said: “The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world. But if the world as a community focused on it, we could heal it. And if we don't, it will become deeper and angrier.” His words were an implicit commitment that Britain would focus on the state of Africa and take the lead in trying to heal that continent's ills. Of course, one whirlwind swing through four or five West African countries will not in itself achieve anything of substance but it will help to concentrate Western minds on areas where help could be most effectively directed among them an accelerated and extended programme of debt relief to the poorest countries and a package of reforms that would subsidise European farmers less and give African farmers better access to EU markets.

Ray Fleming

Life's not a trial run

Last March at 3 o'clock in the morning it looked like the daftest decision we'd ever made. I lay there kicking the bottom of the bed, worrying like mad, wondering what on earth we were doing.

They do say that the two most stressful things in life are divorce and moving house. We'd decided to have a go at the moving house one - we'll try the divorce one later! But of course being us it wasn't just moving house up the road or to the next village or even into nearby Derby or Burton. We'd decided to go for the big hop and come to live and work in Mallorca. It seems a long time ago now but it's six months to the day since we arrived in August.

Lets be blunt about this, some of you will not understand what I'm going on about. That's no big deal you may think if you've lived here for most of your lives but for us it was the scariest thing we'd ever done. We're the world's worst at making decisions and it took us an age. We had lists of reasons for not going and we had equally long lists of reasons for going. There were the aged parents to worry about, what the kids would make of it – whether the disruption would turn them into professional drug dealers and alcoholics, whether we were going to settle, not to mention the madness of both of us giving up jobs that we both enjoyed, suited our temperaments, were reasonably well paid and bar a major catastrophe would take us through to retirement.

On a bad day we thought we were mad! We knew that we would have to find money to pay for private education, despite the kids being more than happy at their local comprehensive which didn't cost us a penny. Also having to look at private medical cover despite the fact that the doctors in the local GP practice had looked after us very well thank you for the last fifteen years on the NHS.

We even had the luxury of having a good idea of what we were coming out to as I'd been filling in for the last seven years doing locum chaplaincy duty. I knew that the congregation were a lovely group of people who would not only support us but keep a kindly eye on us. Some even seemed quite enthusiastic about us coming, so we knew we'd be alright and I knew there was a useful job to do.

We couldn't even blame the madness on the Spanish sun because at that point we were still rotting in the English rain – but we'd always wanted to do it and it had always been a pipe dream. I can remember fantasising in the hope that the last chaplain might be made a bishop or win millions on the lottery but I wasn't sure which were the shorter odds!.........so what the hell, we're going! We're up for it! I think what clinched it for us was the realisation that life is not a trial run but the real thing. We can't do it next time round. Pipe dreams have to be grabbed when they stare you in the face!

PS We're glad we came and it certainly seems to have been the right decision.

Father Robert Ellis. Anglican Chaplain in Majorca

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