BALEARIC President Francesc Antich marked the Balearic Day celebrations at FITUR yesterday by calling on all the various facets of the region's tourist industry to co-operate in a “positive” united promotional campaign. Antich stressed the need for the Balearics to be positive, adding that while in 1999 seven million euros was spent on promotions, this year more than double is being invested in selling the Balearics overseas. He championed his government's controversial, if not questionable, tourism policies “meeting the need of eco-friendly tourism while turning away from mass tourism and urban development,” claiming that “despite the unusual circumstances,” recession in Germany, September 11, the single currency and tougher competition, the region's tourist industry has performed well over recent years. “The Balearics is still the market leader,” he proclaimed, adding that the region must continue having the busiest hotels and apartments. But Antich called on European leaders to opt for “dialogue and the spoken work” as opposed to military action to resolve the Iraq issue, repeating not only the Balearic Tourism Minister's concerns over the negative effects of a war in Iraq but also his advice to the Spanish Prime Minister to reconsider his position to not back President Bush and follow the lead of the French and the Germans.

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