There was talk of an ever longer tourism season, and it was Tui Germany who were doing the talking during their annual senior management gathering (in the Canaries) and media days for the German press. A longer holiday season forecast for 2017, said our Tuesday front page, with CEO Sebastian Ebel bringing glad tidings of a mid-February to end-November season and of increased promotion of lighter summer months: July, August and September are apparently already booked out.
Tui talking Turkey
This was all very positive stuff, until we took a look in greater detail at what had been going on in Maspalomas at the media days. The Spanish press were none too impressed by the fact that Majorca barely got a mention, with Tui mostly talking Turkey (as well as Tunisia, Egypt and even the Canaries). Tui couldn't be blamed for having done so, given that they (and other tour operators) took a hit this year because of the security issues. But lurking in the background was the fact that Tui have not been overly impressed by Majorca's hoteliers cranking up prices and a further fact that the tour operator's punters rate Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt more highly than Majorca in terms of overall satisfaction. If nothing else, it was a reminder of who really calls the shots when it comes to tourism.
All year at Sunwing
With the season getting ever longer, one's thoughts might have turned to a paradisical scenario by which Majorca can boast a fully-functioning all-year season (like the Canaries). But as we all know, there are only so few hotels which remain open. One that does is Sunwing in Alcudia (part of the complex anyway) and has been staying open all year since the start of the 1970s. Troels Muller in Saturday's Nordic Page described this as "sheer stubbornness and resilience" and asked the manager, Guillermo Ridruejo, about the secret of its success. Most reassuringly and perhaps most surprisingly, Sunwing has "nothing included": it's the total antithesis of the all-inclusive.
The lights are still not on
Christmas, including shopping, offers the chance for attracting visitors, so long as the marketing and the product are right. As far as some are concerned, principally retailers, Palma hasn't got its Christmas product right because it has delayed turning on the lights. All sorts of justifications for this were emanating from the town hall - safety issues because of a clash with Black Friday, it was too early to turn them on, a later start would provide a greater "incentive" to families. The town hall revealed that when the lights are turned on (this coming Saturday), there will be a "magical" show. We rather took the view that the delay was all down to politics at the town hall, with the Palma Podemos branch being the Scrooge element and getting their way.
The Michelin of cocktails
It was a week of awards. Two more Majorcan restaurants were awarded a Michelin star for 2017: Argos in Puerto Pollensa and Adrián Quetglas in Palma. A sort of Michelin equivalent was given to the Ginbo cocktail bar. Conveniently opposite the Bulletin offices in Palma's Paseo Mallorca, Ginbo received the FIBAR award for best cocktail menu. And on the day that this was reported (last Sunday), one of Ginbo's mixers, Charles Harrington-Clarke, continued his excellent series by explaining the legend behind the Cuban daiquiri.
The officer and Ava Gardner
Majorca does have a habit of throwing up some quirky stories, and there was one such last week. It was about the time that the American actress Ava Gardner was turned down by a Guardia Civil officer, Antonio García, during a party at Robert Graves house in Deya.
The director of the Ava Gardner Museum in North Carolina, Deanna Brandenberger, had been invited to the Casa Robert Graves to remember Ava Gardner's association with Robert and with Majorca and to also recall Antonio's famous story. "Sorry, but I'm on duty."
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