Miquel Ensenyat, the president of the Council of Majorca, believes that there is an attempt to demonise tourism by saying that it causes saturation.
Speaking about various tourism issues, Ensenyat today observed that the model of tourism in the Balearics is in the process of being revised and that this has to include discussion of sun-and-beach tourism. There have to be, he indicated, changes to degraded areas like Arenal and Magalluf's Punta Ballena.
On holiday rentals, he argued that they are a European and global phenomenon which do not amount to real competition for the Balearic hotel industry.
He said that everyone agrees that there has to be regulation, but that the question is how, especially given major problems of housing accommodation in the tourist season, such as is the case in Ibiza. "We must differentiate between where there is a serious problem and where it (holiday rental) acts as a stimulus. In Majorca the most problematic areas are in parts of Palma and certain other coastal regions. There again, a stimulus can be given to other areas."
With regard to responsibilities for tourism promotion that are set to be transferred to the Council, Ensenyat said that everything depends on how much is transferred. It should be aimed at "defining the tourist product, which means promotion above and beyond sun and beach".
The promotion should, he stressed, be guided by the type of product. "Fixing roads, promoting routes for gastronomy, hikers and cyclists. Enhancements to roads and lanes are not the same thing as going to travel fairs and offering pastries."
His proposal for the airport to be named Ramon Llull is based on the airport being a mark of identity for the image of Majorca and Llull being the island's "most universal figure". Adopting the name would "perpetuate his memory", draw him closer to people from elsewhere and associate him with the island "more so than alcoholic comas".
On the notion that the Council of Majorca might disappear, Ensenyat reckoned that this is a "discourse about Majorca imported from the mainland" and highlighted attitudes in the other islands. "Ask someone in Minorca, Ibiza or Formentera, and they will tell you that it is the regional government which should disappear."
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