In brief

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Ciutadella loses over 30,000 passengers
up to October 2008
During the first ten months of 2008, the port of Ciutadella was used by 30,316 fewer passengers than the previous year, a drop of 15.22% in the number of passengers arriving and departing. Only August showed a positive result, with a slight increase of 3.29% overall.

Skating rink attracts 20% fewer visitors
There is no doubt that the leisure sector is also suffering the results of the crisis, as can be seen by the drop of around 20% in the number of visitors to the 2008 Ice Skating Rink in Maó which closed last Tuesday.
This has prompted the organisers to decide to include more leisure activities for the younger children when the skating rink makes its reappearance at the end of this year, probably again in the synthetic form of this year rather the ice of previous visits.

Slow start to this year's January sales
In spite of discounts of up to 50% being offered in the centre of Maó, the first day of the January sales was a slow one for shopkeepers. The morning was exceptionally quiet, the bad weather adding to the economic crisis in deterring shoppers from venturing out. Business was slightly brisker in the afternoon but still far from the normal hustle and bustle of the first day of the sales and shopkeepers are not confident that things will improve greatly.

British vote Menorca seventh best holiday destination
According to a survey carried out amongst its readers by the "Daily Mail" and reported in the "Diario de Mallorca", the British public believe Menorca to be the seventh best holiday destination world wide. Top of the list was Mallorca and Ibiza finished in sixth place, fighting off competition from emerging destinations in the eastern Mediterranean.
Following Mallorca in the list of preferences was the Turkish coast, then Orlando (Florida), Larnaca (Cyprus) and the Catalan Costa Dorada ahead of Ibiza and Menorca.
However, that could all change this year as a spokesman for ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, has warned that Europe is becoming very dear for the British holidaymaker, adding that North African countries offer better value for money.

"Nura Nova" currently out of commission
Iscomar's "Nura Nova" is currently out of service having been withdrawn from the route to undergo her annual technical inspection in Tunis. The vessel was originally scheduled for the trials in Barcelona but recent storms destroyed the floating dock which would have been used for the work and Iscomar was forced to seek an alternative venue for the inspection.

Baleària removes fuel surcharge from tickets
The shipping line Baleària  has announced that with effect from 19th January, it is to remove fuel surcharges from tickets for both passengers and vehicles travelling on its vessels.
The move applies to journeys between the Balearic Islands and the mainland and also within the island group itself, all of which had previously been subject to the charge.

Record collection for 2008 Poppy Appeal
In spite of all the talk (and evidence) of the "crisis", the collection organised by the Royal British Legion in Menorca for the Poppy Appeal at the end of 2008 exceeded expectations.
The total amount collected around the island was 2,360.84 euros, an increase of almost 10% on the previous year's figure.

David Russell concert in Es Migjorn Gran
Considered one of the best guitarists in the world, the "Adopted Son of Es Migjorn Gran", David Russell, will be giving a concert on Friday in the village that was formerly his home.
The parish church of Es Migjorn Gran, Sant Cristòfol, is the venue for the performance in which the Grammy award winner will play works by Aguado, Bach, Vivaldi, Tàrrega and Albéniz.

Multi-art jam session in the Akelarre
The Akelarre in the port of Maó is to stage an interesting and innovative experience this Sunday, best described as a multi-art jam session.
Starting at 1930 hrs. "ish", there will be live music from "Jambient", featuring drummer Terry Cox (formerly with "Pentangle"), other musical groups, improvised dancing from a local troupe, painting, photography, poetry, videos projected on to a large screen, etc. Entrance will be free and the 'audience' will be invited to participate in the different events.
Should the experience prove successful on this, its first appearance, it could be repeated at other venues both on the island and in Mallorca.

Mobile planetarium to tour Balearic Islands
In 1609 Galileo Galilei first observed the heavens through a telescope and, 400 years later, the event is being commemorated in an International Year of Astronomy.
To celebrate this, a mobile planetarium is to tour the Balearic Islands for twelve months from March in an initiative organised by the Mallorca Observatory. The planetarium will comprise two domes in which will be installed replicas of telescopes used by Galileo and more modern versions so that a comparison can be drawn between the different models.
The Observatory will also offer an online telescope service for use by educational centres and investigators.

Jet2.com launches publicity campaign
During this month Jet2.com will be running a campaign advertising Menorca and the new connections the airline is offering to the island. This summer Belfast, Blackpool and Edinburgh will be added to the existing routes, Leeds and Newcastle.
The 150 spots will be shown on television channels in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and advertising will be taken out in the press and on buses. An on-line marketing campaign will also be run.

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