The British holiday market is currently the least of the Balearics' worries, the Ministry for Tourism is more concerned about consolidating the region's position as Germany's number one destination while also expanding the Balearics' slice of the Spanish market. Tourism Minister Celesti Alomar yesterday launched a new five-year promotional campaign explained by the Director of Ibatur, the Balearic Tourism Institute, Tiffany Blackman. The principal aim is to demonstrate for the region's established and new holiday markets that there is much more to the Balearics than sun and sea. The slogan for the mainland Spain campaign, which starts this weekend on television and next week in the national media, is there is so much to see and do, “The Balearics, those who come always come back.” In the short term, Alomar said that the Balearics, which open a new information office in Berlin within the next few weeks, have to fight off the stiff competition from the likes of Turkey, Greece and Croatia in Germany. The new image which is going to be projected across Europe is one of the Balearics as a cultural, eco-friendly and activity destination. Over the next month and a half, Ibatur, will be spending over 110'000 euros on the Spanish campaign. Blackman said that the two immediate objectives are to boost the domestic 13 per cent share of the market and speed up bookings for this summer, especially in Germany. Once the summer is over, Blackman said that a new campaign will be launched to remind visitors of their holiday in the Balearics, encouraging them to return. The Spanish media campaign will target some ten million people. The German campaign however has yet to be finalised as Ibatur, with the co-operation of the Balearic chambers of commerce, will be launching a joint venture with the Spanish Tourist Board, Turespaña. Alomar said the Balearics will not be targetting Britain with such a hard sell. The Minister said that a campaign has recently finished and that the response has been positive. Alomar believes that UK bookings for the Balearics will level out to match last year, which was sufficient to compensate for the sharp slump in the German market. However, the Minister would not rule out another promotional drive in the UK should bookings start to tail off again. This year Ibatur has been working across the world, promoting the Balearics and its new image from Seville to Seattle and twice as many travel journalists as last year have already visited the region on fact finding missions. What is clear is that a five-year promotional campaign has been devised to project the Balearics'changing image and model for tourism. Competition is tougher than ever and the Ministry for Tourism is aware that the islands cannot sit back on their laurels and presume that millions of tourists will automatically come to the Balearics.

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