The Balearics is setting up a good news centre which is to be run by the Majorcan Tourist Board in a bid to try and off-set the negative press coverage the region has received over the past 18 months across Europe and help repair the islands' damaged image. Yesterday the Balearic Minister for Tourism, Celesti Alomar, the vice president of the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, Juan Gual and the president of the Tourist Board, Miguel Vicens, closed the deal to launch the good new press centre. Vicens, who has been one of the biggest critics of the tourist tax, said that the Balearics “is suffering an image problem” in the region's key satellite markets, Germany and, to a lesser extent, the UK. Joan Gual said that the three key reasons for the drop in tourism to the Balearics this year are the widespread publication of bad news, the economic down turn in the main satellite countries and the main competitors offering more variety. The vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, which is helping to fund the 69.000 euro project, claimed that some members of the foreign and Spanish media “tend to magnify” the Balearics' problems, hence the media centre is being set up, to “neutralise” the effects of bad news stories. Vicens said that the new office will be called the International Press Centre and will serve to provide foreign journalists with any and all information required, a service Vicens said has been lacking of late. Over the next month two “communications experts” are going to be recruited so that the new centre will be operational by the start of September. Vicens said that the primary aim of the centre will be to ensure that good news reaches all sections of the media in the Balearics' key feeder markets while looking after all visiting journalists, making sure that they leave with a good impression.

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