Author Topic: Daily Bulletin and other News articles of interest  (Read 21652 times)

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andrew711

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2011, 12:16:26 PM »
And "sanitized", BL, is accurate where the DB is concerned, as in I've been, how can I put it, "edited" in the past or had something vetoed. To be fair, it does a reasonable job without huge resources.

Of English papers, stopped taking The Times because it was so expensive and you didn't get what you would in the UK. I'd pay for the online version, but to be honest I haven't the patience for reading long articles via the internet, so it would probably be a waste.

Belladonna

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2011, 12:51:25 PM »
The DB does seem more available though than the Ultima for some reason. I will make more of an effort to find it though. The Talk Of The North on line is just terrible to try and read. It is so small, and when enlarged, virtually impossible to read.
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Belladonna

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Private Holiday lets
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 13:00:35 PM »
Courtesy Andrews blog;



No Hope: Private holiday lets
Justin in Paris has made 90,000 dollars. Daren in London has raked in 100 grand. In Mallorca, you can expect to coin in 2003 euros per month.

An advert on a Facebook page demanded a damn good clicking. Make money in Spain, it said. Rent out your place to travelers (all American travellers, therefore, as they are lacking an "l") and make 75 euros+ per night. Interesting, I thought. Not because I want to rent out to travelers or even travellers, but because it is quite possible that anyone wishing to - in Mallorca - shouldn't.

On the site, there was Daren, relaxing, sound in the knowledge of the 100 grand he had made. Novi from San Francisco was smiling, thanks to her 30,000 dollars. Justin looked suitably satisfied with his ninety thousand.

The 2003 euros was the calculation for a month to rent out an apartment in Palma or Pollensa. I went and had a look. Was anything actually available in Mallorca? Yes. Not much, but there were some places. By the night or longer. Some with photos, some without. Not having a photo doesn't really "sell" a place, but there might be good reason for there not being a photo.

It's kicking off again. The periodic wielding of the holiday-rental stick. The tourism ministry and friends at the tax authorities are spending their days in earnest perusal of websites, mainly British ones, seeking to identify properties for holiday rent. An announcement was made last year that web pages in particular would come under scrutiny, and a similar announcement has been made this year as well.

John Lance, in his letter to "The Bulletin" (Saturday, 2 July) made the point well enough, as he has in the past, about the lunatic situation in respect of holiday lets in Mallorca. The "grey area" he referred to isn't really all that grey. Want to now license your property for holiday rental? You can't.

There are plenty of properties which are licensed but they date back to and before the registration of, when was it, three, four years ago. Even then, however, there was massive confusion, and the dice were heavily loaded against apartment owners. The greyness of the situation is especially so with apartments, but it isn't so grey if you accept the version which states that you cannot rent out private apartments as holiday lets at all.

The tourism ministry has wielded its stick. In February, there were reports relating to action taken against owners of apartments in Santa Ponsa, to what was being offered, and to the fact that the apartments were being advertised via a UK website. And then there were the fines. Up to 30,050 euros.

We know the arguments in favour of more relaxed rules on holiday rentals: not everyone wants to stay in a hotel; tourists in private apartments and villas tend to spend more; a mix of accommodation types reflects the diversity of the tourism market. We know the hoteliers' arguments against: they have the hoops they have to go through; they invest heavily; they are a key source of employment. Like the endless all-inclusive debate, none of the arguments are new.

The hoteliers can, however, be somewhat disingenuous. When the Santa Ponsa reports were coming in, the head of the local hoteliers' association said that the competition from private apartments was unfair. Yes, but turn it around. Owners could argue the case of restriction of trade and of unfair competition that denies them the chance to properly register and market their properties.

As John Lance remarked, this could all end up with Europe getting involved. But for property owners, the problem is the lack of any co-ordinated voice. The hoteliers know this, and so, as importantly, does the Balearic Government.

It might be remembered that the hoteliers, well before the elections, expressed concern as to the appointment of Carlos Delgado as tourism minister. Now they express contentment, and Delgado, who one might hope might be more willing to throw off the shackles of trade restriction, has announced his intention to collaborate with the hotel sector in making the tourism law more flexible. And one aspect of this is the residential use of tourist establishments. Owned by the hoteliers, I think we can assume this to mean.

Just as is the case with its dealings with the major tour operators, a government in the Balearics, be it PP or PSOE, cannot afford to alienate the hotel sector. If there was hope that the private rental market might be treated more favourably by the new government, then I'm afraid it was probably a forlorn hope. And it will remain one.

Unquote.

But still nothing is clear and nothing is certain. There doesnt appear to be a pamphlet of any kind with any help on what is required by owners to set up any type of registration, even thoughh may tourists prefer this type of holiday!
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andrew711

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2011, 15:29:16 PM »
And it's probably just got worse. Bauza and Delgado have been holding a pow-wow with the hoteliers and one upshot of this is that they will be more determined to stamp out "illegal" accommodation. Beats me why people keep banging on about the "authorities" who must do something (be it all-inclusives or holiday lets) as there is nothing they can or will do, as they aren't the ones who wield the power.

Much of this though is I think to try and scare property owners. It's impossible and impractical for everywhere to be checked, but fact remains that you can't now register a private property of any sort for holiday rental and no apartment is licensed as such, only standalone properties such as villas. Crazy, but there you go.

Point taken about TOTN. I think it depends on how dense the text is on a given page as to legibility when you enlarge.

Belladonna

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Re: Daily Bulletin - End of the Fiestas?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2011, 09:15:10 AM »
Make the most of them whilst you can;

Funding the fiestas
THE threat of cuts to fiesta programmes is now a reality. Pollensa town hall is considering scrapping the street party of the night of 1 August that runs on into the early hours of 2 August, the day of the Moors and Christians battle that is the climax to the town’s Patrona festivities.
Mayor Tomeu Cifre has said that something has to give. If not the street party, then other things would have to go, one possibility being the “marxa fresca” (the white party) that is normally held on the night before the street party.

Why are there two parties? Both are, after all, held in the streets and squares of Pollensa. The marxa fresca is more an open-air disco in the Plaça Major, whereas the street party of 1 August involves three squares holding rock and dance music concerts. The cost alone of staging this street party, according to the mayor, is 40'000 euros; 40'000 euros the town hall simply hasn’t got.

The funding crisis for cultural events in Pollensa nearly claimed this year’s music festival. While the previous town hall administration was tardy, to blame it entirely for the disorganisation is unfair. The new tourism ministry has ridden to the music festival’s rescue in providing emergency funds, the ministry of the last government having blocked funding.

The town hall was short of nearly two hundred thousand euros for the music festival. Though the new tourism authorities have assured their support for the music festival, they have also made it perfectly clear that an examination of grants to events from the government is going to be undertaken - in an as objective fashion as possible. In other words, there can be no guarantee that the music festival, along with any other recipient of government cash, will be helped out so generously in future, if at all.

In the case of the music festival, why has the tourism ministry been helping to fund it? I raised the question before. What does it really do for tourism? Well, come on, what does it do? Anyone able to give a firm answer? I would very much doubt it. If any ministry should be putting its hands into its pockets, then it should be that for culture.

In terms of the economic resources directed towards fiestas or festivals and of the direct economic benefits from tourism, funding in the name of tourism is not justifiable. And when it might be more justifiable, the funding is less.

In Pollensa the mayor has also said that the budget for this year’s fiestas, well down in any event on what is needed, will see 30'000 euros directed towards the fiestas in Puerto Pollensa, both the recent “feria del mar” and the upcoming Virgen del Carmen.

The town hall has 130'000 euros in all at its disposal. Patrona in the old town gets the lion’s share of the budget (100'000 euros), yet, with the exception of the Moors and Christians battle, Patrona doesn’t necessarily attract huge numbers of tourists. The events in the port, on the other hand, do, for the very good reason that this is where most of the tourists are to be found.

This underlines the fact that, for all the talk of fiestas as traditional events which appeal to tourists, tourists are not the primary target. They are events for the local population; as is the case with the music festival as well.

There is nothing at all wrong with this, but, and despite the music festival being a different category of event to fiestas, the tourism ministry is absolutely right to be taking a hard look at grants.

If by doing so, he sends out a message to town halls that they need to apply greater realism, then he will have done a great service.
To come back to the street party, there is a further reason for its possibly being scrapped, and that is the problems it causes. Increasingly, it has become an excuse for an almighty great piss-up - a botellón - and the ambience is less than pleasant. Calls have been made, for instance, for people to desist from using the streets as toilets.

In Sa Pobla they dropped their own street party last year. Similar reasons were cited to those in Pollensa where there has been disquiet expressed as to the fact that the fiestas have lost their sense of tradition among young people and simply become the launch pad for drunkenness and misbehaviour. So, Pollensa town hall has more than one agenda when it comes to abandoning the street party, but overriding this is the fact that the fiestas have needed to be scrutinised more intensely. It’s a great shame that economic crisis has necessitated this, but it is long overdue
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Belladonna

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Fiestas
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2011, 09:42:26 AM »
What is word around the Port regarding the many festivities being cancelled due to this?
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girlie in the corner

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2011, 12:34:03 PM »
Well, its all news today, so haven't spoken to anyone, but from our point of view I suppose we agree with BL in that if we really had to choose, we would prefer our taxes to go towards the upkeep of the port in all its guises, rather than blow it up in half an hour and have everything else go to pot because of it.  Sad though, we have friends coming over ourselves who were really looking forward to seeing the fireworks.

Pollpott2

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2011, 12:52:13 PM »
Good point, Girlie, I like my hols to coincide with the fireworks etc but I suppose it wouldn't be too great a loss if they had to cancel them because of the cost.  The money saved could be put towards further improvements in the port.
T

Belladonna

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2011, 14:56:57 PM »
Have to agree too, although we have never been over to see the fireworks, so its a shame we never will. :(
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Pollpott2

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2011, 16:04:33 PM »
You could always bring your own...couple of sparklers, catherine wheel, a few bangers, a rocket or two, all tied to a bicycle wheel. With those and a few cocktails you won't notice the difference!
T 8)

Chemical Dave

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2011, 18:04:34 PM »
Shame about the fireworks, a lot of people will be disappointed. Hopefully they will be back once the purse strings are loosened.

What about making more of an event of it though. Would it be possible to charge an admission?. I am sure that the council arrange to charge a small admission fee, what about a few concession stands, entertainment etc, sponsorship by local business and entrepreneurs (BL ;) ). It may not cover the whole cost but would go a long way.

Dave

Bonyslad

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2011, 18:57:30 PM »
Dave,

You're right but that thinking has been beyond most of the previous Council Members . Hopefully with a bit more pressure the current incumbents will start to think a bit more laterally .

Hopeful as always

BL  :)
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Belladonna

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Re: Daily Bulletin articles of interest
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2011, 21:00:42 PM »
Spot on Dave, why on earth dont they think outside the box sometimes? Quick enough to get motorists to pay one way or another and nothing to show for it, surely we would be happy enough to pay for something we actually want!
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Belladonna

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Hotels and apartments
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2011, 07:17:52 AM »

Curtesy of Andrew's blog


The Great Reform Act: Mallorca's hotels
President Bauzà and tourism minister Carlos Delgado have been parleying with the hoteliers. Love is now in the air where once were poisoned arrows, those being lobbed by the hoteliers in Mr. D's general direction.

Delgado is promising the hotels just about everything they might have wished for: a change of use for obsolete hotel stock; a new tourism law that will make procedures more flexible; a crackdown on illegal accommodation. Throw in some redevelopment of resorts and you have just about the perfect result for the hotels.

Just about, but not entirely. The redevelopment of Playa de Palma, still being battled over and still short of funding, is held up as the model for resort upgrading elsewhere - Magalluf and Alcúdia have been mentioned specifically - but not all hotels in Playa de Palma want to see changes that might remove the bread and butter of the three-star hotel.

But plenty do want improvements. Mallorca's tourism industry suffers from having been one of the first locations of the tourism industrial revolution of the mid-twentieth century. As with all original infrastructures, they become obsolete or old-fashioned; hence the desire to redevelop the resorts.

Knocking old hotels down isn't really an option except in extreme cases, but upgrading them or converting them is. One type of conversion would see hotels become condohotels; another would let them become residential. With either option, and depending on the precise nature of what "condo" might actually entail and what constraints, if any, were placed on what could be done with these residential former hotels, what you might end up with is a system whereby holiday lets are made available under the control of the hotels.

You can conclude, therefore, that behind the opposition to holiday rentals and behind what is now meant to be a more rigorous approach to stamping illegal ones out, there is another dynamic. The hoteliers aren't daft. They know full well that a market, a very sizeable market, exists for accommodation which isn't that of the hotel. What could be better than to get hold of that market as well, whilst at the same time seeking to eliminate or limit alternatives.

The hotels have been lobbying to be able to undertake conversions for some years. The consequence of this, however, together with a reduction in total hotel stock envisaged under plans for Playa de Palma (and therefore elsewhere, you would think) and the fact that Delgado doesn't foresee new hotels springing up in abundance, is that there will be fewer hotel beds around.

This could all make sense if you believe that Mallorca's tourism should become leaner if not necessarily meaner. However, take a certain number of hotel places out of the equation and the attack on the holiday-rentals market looks even more ludicrous than it already is.

Following my article of 5 July ("No Hope"), I had some correspondence on the issue, and one question that came up was just how many hotel beds there are in Mallorca. I'd thought finding the answer would be difficult. It wasn't. Thanks to the Fomento del Turismo (the Mallorcan tourism board), I discovered that in 2005 there were 283,436 beds. The figure won't have changed materially. It was also easy, because I had written about it before, to find out how many tourists, at the very height of the summer season, there are. In August 2008, the number peaked at 1,930,000 in the Balearics; it will be higher this year.

Allowing for the other islands and various other factors, you can guess that, at a conservative estimate, there are at least as many tourists who stay in rental accommodation such as apartments and villas as there are those who stay in hotels. If the hotels cut their overall capacity, and even if they don't, were holiday lets to be driven out of business or to be hounded more than they already are, where on earth would everyone stay?

The hotels might think that condos and hotels converted to residential use might go some way to housing these tourists, but the numbers would surely not be great. Plus, you would have lost those hotel beds into the bargain. Far from holiday lets being "unfair competition", they are in fact a competitive necessity - for Mallorca and its whole tourism industry.

I have high hopes for Delgado. He should go some way to proving that these hopes are not misplaced. He should look at the total mix of the industry he now presides over and come to a conclusion that the hoteliers might not like, but which Mallorca can ill afford to be without.


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Belladonna

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Ultima Hora - fire
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2011, 07:29:29 AM »
Hopefully this link will hold for todays Ultima Hora which shows some video footage of the fire yesterday and also has a write up on it too.


Sometimes it  wont translate itself via the link - if this happens just press the Go to original page, and you will  get it in Spanish, but the videos are the same. If you want the translated page just google Ultima Hora and press the translate option.

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://ultimahora.es/mallorca/seccion/sucesos.html&ei=oqEWTozOHomv8gP44Ykf&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CEQQ7gEwAg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dultima%2Bhora%2Bmallorca%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4DKUK_en-GBGB249GB249%26prmd%3Divns


PS Unfortunately the link wont show it after the actual day - it will only show the current addition, hope you managed to see it!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 11:03:18 AM by Belladonna »
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