Christine M. Watterson
The Balearic Department of Tourism has set aside a sum of 25 million euros for its new marketing plan which will run until 2012 and was presented last week by the Regional Councillor, Miquel Nadal.
The plan contains various packages of measures with a common objective, that of improving the sector's profitability. One of the proposed actions is to adapt the island so that it can attract visitors during the mid and low seasons, by developing cultural, rural and congressional tourism, three areas which are popular during the quieter periods of the year.
Other proposals include improving the sales system for tourist packages and increasing the promotional efforts. On the organisational side, the plan proposes restructuring the tourist board, IBATUR, so that it can work with specialised sectors and products.
The marketing plan will also promote "webinars", which are seminars held over the Internet, as well as satellite tourist promotions. New technology will also play a major role in the advertising strategy.
The Regional Council will also promote the creation of an audiovisual bank with images of the Balearic Islands, plus an electronic sales network which will allow suppliers to deal directly with reservations.
Whilst stressing that the plan had not been designed specifically to combat the crisis, Councillor Nadal affirmed that one of its objectives was to achieve "a better profitability for the Balearic economy" by encouraging tourists to visit the islands outside the 'high season' months.
This will be the aim of all the proposed measures which, on paper, will differentiate between the islands and sectors. The marketing plan has been drawn up by the company THR, Asesores en Turismo, Hoteleria y Recreación (consultants in tourism, the hotel trade and leisure).
Tourism on local television
The local television station, Televisió Menorquina, has introduced a weekly programme dedicated exclusively to tourism, which can also be viewed on the Internet.
The 55-minute programme "Mira Menorca" ("Look at Menorca"), which started last Friday, will analyse the topic from several different angles and will include specialist reports, information on the major trade fairs, experts' opinions and studies of the market as well as offering advertising space. The second half of the programme will feature a talk show, in which representatives from local authorities and private businesses will participate, and a weekly diary of the main events of interest happening on the island.
The programme is broadcast at 2100 hrs. on Fridays, with a repeat shown at 1300 hrs. on Mondays or it can be viewed on the "Menorca" newspaper's website (www.menorca.info).