Better in Winter?

A subject that’s taken up a lot of debate is the Governments new tourism slogan “Better in Winter” that was unveiled at the Fitur Travel Fair in Madrid. Now I think we all understand the message but the question is, is it the right way to say it? “Better in Winter” does that mean we’re not so great in Summer? Just by adding one word like “Even better in Winter” would give out the same message but in a more positive way. 

I posted a picture of Magaluf beach last Monday on social Media. It was 21c warm and sunny but the beach was deserted. So I posed the question if the Government says it’s better in winter then somebody wants to tell the tourists! That led to over 150 likes, loads of comments and 100 shares which meant it was seen by over 25,000 people and that was just Facebook. Both Instagram and Twitter got good reactions too. Now I would imagine that the plan isn’t to revitalize beach holidays in January as it can be hit and miss. But there’s no doubt there are times that the temperatures are just as good as April and May sometimes. The focus I’m sure is on cyclists, walkers, City Breaks etc but I was here in 1990 when there was winter tourism and in some ares it was just as busy as in Summer. You only have to go across the water to Benidorm to see there is a market and it’s all winter long. Why should we only look to extend the season to 9 months? Why not 12 months? It seems that the airlines, hoteliers and their workers are only to pleased to have a break in the winter. It’s funny that some people actually love the down time as they say it gives the Island back to us the residents. But anyone in business would surely prefer to be busy for the full year and not just 6 months? There are signs that things are changing, Jet2 are a pioneer in adding more flights earlier and I hear that more hotels are opening earlier. That can only be good for the island and with Easter falling earlier this year maybe there’s a chance, we shall see.

Extending the season would mean a greater stress on the island and its infrastructure. Therefore we have to look at preserving the beauty of the island.  There’s a lot of talk about the banning of plastics around the World. Sky News launched “Ocean Rescue” a year ago this week to highlight the problem of waste in our oceans. The Balearic Islands are now moving to ban the sale of all single-use consumer plastics by 2020 in what could be the most far-reaching legislation in Europe against disposable products. In a radical response to plastic rubbish blighting its tourist beaches and beauty spots, the regional government has proposed prohibiting the sale of goods including everyday items like plastic cups, plates and cutlery, straws, disposable razors, lighters and coffee machine capsules.

Such items will have to become “easily recyclable” or convert to biodegradable alternatives, in what will pose a major challenge to manufacturers. Now while I might question the Governments new tourism slogan, I applaud their thinking on this. One of the reasons they say to bring the Tourist Tax is to help the environment and this is a definite step forward. I should also at this point applaud the work done by Brad Robertson and his Ondine team here on the island. I will be interviewing Brad on Tuesday on the radio and he will update on where all this is going. Ondine’s last beach clean was up in Soller on January 21st and produced some shocking results. Here’s what they put on Facebook.
“During our last beach clean we recovered 8215 plastic items measuring between 2,5-50cm from a beach area of ONLY 50m!

Based on calculations, the microplastic samples that we took indicate that there is an estimated 168.125 pieces of microplastics within that same 50m area! (Small pieces of broken down plastic measuring less than 5mm). 

These items don’t weigh much but their negative impact on the environment is huge! Birds, fish, turtles, filter feeders and even plankton (!) commonly mistake these tiny, toxic carrying pieces of plastic for food. By ingesting them they may suffer tissue contamination, growth disturbance and starvation due to a feeling of fullness, yet a belly filled with plastics. 

The only way to keep these tiny hazards from our sea and beaches is by reducing our plastic consumption, and with that our plastic pollution!”

 I’ve done a couple of these clean ups and they are not only hugely helpful to the environment but a great education for kids too. My two boys when we did our last one thoroughly enjoyed the day and learnt a great deal. If you go to their Facebook page you can see a list of beach clean ups for the year. If you’ve said to yourself I must go and do one of these clean ups and never got round to it then you might need to add it to the list below. 

TOP 30 THINGS PEOPLE WANT TO DO BUT DON’T GET AROUND TO:
1. Lose weight
2. Walk more
3. Eat better
4. Read more
5. Learn a language
6. Manage finances better
7. Drink less
8. Spend less
9. Go to bed an hour earlier
10. Eat less
11. Socialise more
12. Join a gym
13. Re-vamp the wardrobe by throwing out unworn clothes
14. Unsubscribe from emails
15. Eat your five-a-day
16. Actually stick to a fitness plan
17. Travel the world
18. Clear debt
19. Spend time or more time with family
20. Write a will
21. Help/volunteer with a charity
22. Wake up ten minutes earlier
23. Quit smoking
24. Write a book
25. Clean the house properly
26. Re-decorate the house
27. Actually go to the gym after joining one
28. Buy a home
29. Visit relatives who live far away
30. Learn/practise an instrument

I have to admit to at least half of these and I’m sure I’m not alone!

Real Mallorca v Atlético Baleares certainly lived up to the pre-match hype. A 3-2 win for Mallorca ensured they remain 4 points clear at the top of the league. 11,354 supporters were at the ground on Sunday and according to the Rcd Mallorca twitter account that was the 3rd highest attendance in tier 3 football last week behind Italian team Lecce on 16,838 and Plymouth Argyle on 11,942. Out of the 22 teams in the Spanish second division Mallorca rank in 11th place in highest attendances. They are away against Atlético Saguntino this Sunday at 12 midday. 

And finally this week I wanted to end on a couple of news stories I heard this week that made me smile. Firstly one serious but my smile came from the fact I would probably be the same. The governor of Hawaii couldn’t tell citizens that January’s missile alert was false because he forgot his Twitter login! 

Twelve camels were disqualified from a beauty contest after judges got the hump(sorry!) over them using botox. The animals were given jabs to make their pouts look more alluring for the annual event in Saudi Arabia!

Enjoy your weekend.

I present the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show with Ayesha Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca, online at www.radioonemallorca.com and on mobile through their free App for IPhone, Android, The Tunein Radio App and now on the Spanish TDT TV service. If you can’t hear me on the radio then you’ll find me working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again i’ll make an understudy appearance! 

Feel free to email me at rprior@globobalear.com

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