I T'S that time of the year and this will be my last Viewpoint for a few weeks as I head off on my holidays. I am going to spend my cherished few days of the year on a beautiful island, with fantastic beaches, where you can get anything you want and you are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding something to do. Yes, you've guessed it, I'm staying in dear old Majorca and for the next 14 days I will go from journalist to holidaymaker although sometimes it is difficult to forget your profession especially when you spend a sizeable part of your working life writing about tourism! As a reader of this newspaper I have followed with interest the letters we have been receiving from tourists and the response their complaints have drawn from our politicians. I will be on holiday in the Pollensa area which has received its fair share of criticism from our readership. I have made my thoughts on this issue clear in other Viewpoints. It may have declined over recent years but it is still one of the best places to holiday in the world and I can speak with some knowledge on this subject as I have a wife who is never happier than when she is travelling to some sun-spot on the other side of the globe. I noticed that the Maldives has been voted the best beach and sun destination in the world. As far as I am concerned it doesn't hold a candle to Cala San Vicente. I think the main reason why tourists have complained this summer is that they are concerned about the island. And I can see why. But Majorca is very lucky also. It has won the loyalty of millions of British holidaymakers who come here year after year. From Monday I myself will join the Majorca loyalty card-holders and I am looking to have a great time and actually see the industry at the frontline. Everyone has an opinion on the tourist industry but from next Monday I will be with the people who really matter. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts.

Jason Moore

Children should be welcome

Dear Sir,
With reference to Mr Hounsell's comments on Pollensa's ongoing problems, I found most of his comments to be very valid.
However, his statement relating to families with small children and I quote “inability of the better restaurants to exclude the nappy/push chair brigade in the late evenings” reads as terrible snobbery.

I have visited Majorca since I was a small child and now do so with my own small children. The friendly nature of Majorcans towards children is one of many reasons people return year after year, regardless of its many reported problems.

I am sure the local families would find it unusual that an individual who has visited for thirty years was “uncomfortable with children eating later in the evening in restaurants” considering it is a normal custom both in Majorca and across the Mediterranean?

Mark Strachan. Scotland. By e-mail

You've thrown out the challenge so here's my spin!

Dear Editor,
I'm no economist or businessman for that matter but when anyone starts to refer to countries in PLC terms I believe they've already lost the argument, there is no finer example of that than Margaret Thatchers UK PLC.

The current Balearic market may be aimed at 7 million people but the simple fact is it is not sustainable. Look at any economic modelling and you will see they conveniently avoid the ecological cost, i.e. the cost of sustaining the original value of the product or its raw materials. The Balearics are no different in this respect.

How many people coming to Majorca today see the beautiful island it was say 40 years ago? The answer is none because Balearics PLC had forgotton what its attraction was to start with - but it is not irrecoverable with a little less building and a little more husbandry.

Now, as for the economic downturn, yes of course there will be a downturn in the short term but alternative solutions will be found that do not require an influx of so many people. Fewer visitors with more disposable cash would seem to be one way forward - provided the quality of products and services on the island could be maintained or improved. In any case the Balearics cannot compete with places such as Turkey when they are more or less giving holidays away.

Maybe you will see my rationality over simplistic but I'm reminded of my first management maxim Keep it simple, stupid! Regards,

Graham Bedford

Editor's note: Good try Mr. Bedford but I am still not convinced. The Balearic economy needs seven million tourists, this year we will have six. It's as simple as that. If we want fewer tourists then a major re-think is needed with plenty more spin!

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