The Balearics will today be launching a campaign in England to promote the islands' culture. The three-day Balearic cultural road show will start this evening in London, before moving on to Manchester tomorrow and finally Lancaster on Thursday. Organised by the Balearic Ministry for Culture and Education, this week's cultural presentation is just a “taster” of a number of much larger cultural events the Balearics is planning to stage in the United Kingdom over the course of this year. Music, literature and traditional culinary delights are the three main features of this first display of Balearic culture. The Minister for Culture and Education has organised the event with the participation of the Cervantes Institute and it will be at the institute's London headquarters where the campaign will be launched tonight. Highly accomplished Majorcan author Baltasar Porcel will be giving a lecture on the role of a writer today and also talk about Catalan literature in the Balearics. A concert by guitarist Damia Timoner, presenting his new album, will follow and the evening will finish with a tasting of Balearic food. The road show will then move on to the Cervantes Institutes in Manchester and Lancaster and information about tourism and the region's diverse culture will be available. Examples of works by foreign writers living in the Balearics will also be on display. While the road show is not tourism orientated, it is in keeping with the Balearic government's desire to develop a cultural tourism market which would fuel the weekend-break sector and also help to boost the winter tourism industry. The Balearic Ministry for Tourism will soon be blitzing the UK in an attempt to revive the summer holiday market, but while this campaign will be targeting the bread-and-butter package holiday industry, the Ministry for Culture envisages its drive as a more long term offensive. While local writers, artists and musicians are hoping that the campaign will lead to greater exposure in the UK, for the authorities, any promotion is good promotion. The tourism industry has been trying to get Palma as a weekend break destination off the ground, but has been finding it hard to establish itself in a market dominated by cultural capitals such as Paris, Rome, Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona. Competition is tough and, for example, tour operator Thomas Cook stated over the weekend, that Paris and Rome are by far the number one short break destinations for the forthcoming May Bank Holiday. In fact, short break bookings in the UK are up by 29 per cent compared to last year.

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