Biel Barceló in parliament yesterday.

14-11-2017Jaume Morey

In parliament yesterday, tourism minister Biel Barceló restated his view that there cannot be more growth of summer tourism and that there should be a focus on the quality and not quantity of tourists.

Barceló was responding to an invitation from the Partido Popular's Miquel Jerez to offer an assessment of participation at the London World Travel Market last week. Jerez noted that there were many signs warning of a decline in tourism because of Brexit and currency devaluations by other countries. He criticised the government's attitude during the fair. "You (Barceló and the government) criticise and threaten businesspeople because they say that the ecotax is not a good idea."

The minister responded by asking Jerez to apply "rigour" and he told him that "we have to improve the figures in winter and get a balance with the figures in summer". He added that UK tourist spending in winter and spring months has increased by 16%, which is what he said last week when tackled by Jerez at a parliamentary committee. This 16% was of course for last winter and spring.

Meanwhile, the Spanish tourism bureau in London is suggesting that there will be a 23% increase in UK tourism this winter, though this figure would seem to be for Spain as a whole. He added that there will be an increase in winter flights for Majorca and Ibiza and that in Minorca there is work being done to cover the loss of Monarch flights in February and March.

Also in parliament, Barceló escaped a motion of censure but it was a close call: the vote was a tie.

The Partido Popular had presented the motion because of the vice-president's supposed involvement in the Més contracts affair. Podemos, who have called for Barceló to resign over the matter, didn't lend their support to the PP motion. They instead abstained, as did El Pi. PSOE and Més deputies (both Majorca and Minorca) voted against the motion. The votes of the PP and others resulted in a 23-23 split with eleven abstentions. Parliamentary rules are that in the event of a tied vote, it is retaken twice. If there is a still a tie, then the motion is defeated, which is what happened yesterday.

The issue has been raised before in parliament, and Barceló has survived previous attempts at censure. During the debate for this latest motion, the PP's former government vice-president, Antonio Gómez, argued that Barceló had not assumed his political responsibility for allowing public money go to his personal "friend", Jaume Garau. "No one in the history of our autonomy (the regional government) has dared to do so much," suggested Gómez. (There will doubtless be those who will be surprised by this suggestion.)

 

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James / Hace 27 days

Jake, keep it up. At 29, I'm still ahead of you on the "down" votes though. Could this be a record? Peace.

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Jason / Hace about 1 month

Barcelo Try going to the resorts and see what they think, I'm sure your views are millions miles away from the small businesses that have just started to recover from the recession. The whole island is not Palma we need more tourists and not the all inclusive type !!! You know the ones that spend money that stay in rental apartments..

+9-

Chris / Hace about 1 month

I’ve stated a number of times, I don’t actually have an issue with the tax or it being increased. I’ve been on plenty other trips to different places where I’ve been charged anyway. I do have an issue with the constant increases in prices on the island for day hotel rooms. This wouldn’t be so much if a problem if the quality was going up too, but it isn’t. Charging 4* prices for 3* accommodation isn’t fair. Raise your 3* to 4* and I’ll be happier paying it.

+17-

James / Hace about 1 month

So much negativity and rudeness... Thank you, Ged, for a little bit of sense and sensitivity.

+10-

Chris / Hace about 1 month

Well said Lizz! Jake, you are clearly in a very fortunate position compared to a lot of readers. But that doesn’t mean that any of these readers don’t deserve to have their bit of time in paradise as much as you! One day, I will get to do what you have done... to get to live in Mallorca has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. But for now, I have to settle for going to work everyday to save as much as I can and have holidays in Pollença. I’m not sure where you get this stereotypical views of holiday renters either.... I’ve done it once, and we loved the freedom it gave our family. What we didn’t spend on the extra for accommodation, it all went on spending money on the island. Putting money into bars, restaurants, the tennis club, public transport. I’ve no doubt the south of the island maybe getting too busy and I’d agree something needs to be done, but there are areas that will really suffer if tourist numbers drop, and I fear for them. And I include a lot of friends and their livelihoods that I fear for!!

+24-

Jake / Hace about 1 month

Gec, you sound like a fair minded guy. Lizz, you sound old and your money was easily got family money. If you worked for your money I would value you’re opinion. But you didnt, so take your family money and go buy in Grimsby!

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Lizz / Hace about 1 month

Jake, I've had property on the island for over 30 years, and you are definitely not the sort of person that makes mallorca special!!!

+21-

Ged / Hace about 1 month

Well as much as I don't like the way "Loadsamoney Jake" expresses himself, he does have a point. It's pointless bleating about tourist tax et al. If either you can't afford to go to Mallorca or you have a moral dichotomy, the only thing to do is not go. Personally I have found it is getting too expensive for me. However I honestly wish Jake well. But mostly I hope the islanders find the balance of tourism and island life they strive for. If we can't wish the best to others its best just keeping or feelings to ourselves

+10-

Stuart Mead / Hace about 1 month

Jake. Not everyone is as rich as you appear to be. A lot of people save to have their holiday. Not all of us get steaming drunk. I go to Soller and it’s not the cheapest place on the island. I’m on a pension now which means I’m only going there once a year now instead of several. The tourist tax doubling next year means for a lot of families that Majorca is a no go now that other destinations appear to be cheaper. I’ve never used all inclusive and spend my money in local bars/restaurants. But I must say that when I was there in March the quality of food had gone down drastically so I won’t miss the other times I went.

+17-

Palmadave / Hace about 1 month

I'm with you Jake.

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