- Publisher: Roqueta Magazine
- Editor: Duncan Frazer
- Edition: 311
- Published: 1st July 2016
Tourism is obviously something that is so very important to the economy of Menorca. Having lived here permanently now through the winter and spring, I have been surprised at how keenly focused the business of tourism is on the main three summer months. It’s a frighteningly short window.
Indeed, Mahón only started to come to life in late May and June as the restaurants and boating world jumped into life. It is a crying shame that the Island has yet to take better advantage of the ‘shoulder’ periods either side of this. The weather is lovely, the light is good, and as it is cooler there is more opportunity to engage in walking, cycling, bird watching, golf and plenty of other things.
Or is it a shame? The feedback that I get from many people who live here is that this status quo suits them down to the ground. And of course more year round tourists means that the Island may have to invest in the activities that would attract visitors, and how does that impact on the bio-sphere and other natural attributes that set the Island aside?
It is a conundrum. Majorca has reportedly had issues this summer, with the influx of more tourists than ever has placed too much stress on many of the public services, accommodation and road system. Does Menorca need this hassle?
But wouldn’t we all be pleased with a controlled increase in visitors out of the peak period? More all year round business would help keep some of the younger people on the Island, instead of them having to leave to find employment perhaps for ever. It would help local business, especially the independents to make a year round living. Plenty of plus points.
The airport obviously plays a huge part here, as without the direct flights, our ‘competitors’ will win the visitor spend every time. Having met with the Director of the Aeropeuerto and reported our interview in the June issue, this is something that is top of his business list. Monarch has put on more direct flights through the winter from Gatwick, so that is a good start.
Perhaps we need to all think a little broader and let the many visitors who love coming here in the height of summer know that there are other ways to enjoy the Island when it is not so hot. They are our captive audience, many returning year after year for the annual summer holiday in July and August.
Perhaps we should all make a plan to encourage them back ‘out of season’ via the very places that we know that they visit: restaurants, bars and supermarkets.
What do you think?
On a lighter note, we have tried to extend the What’s On section in each edition of ROQUETA. It not only lets our residents know what’s happening in the future, so they can plan to go and enjoy the events, but also lets the visitor know what a vibrant place the Island is.
The range of events is much broader than I imagined, from higher classical concerts and theatre to many cultural and traditional events. I am particularly looking forward to going to one of the open air concerts at The Lithica Labyrinths, and seeing the vintage boats in Mahón harbour racing in the XII Copa del Rai Panerai on 24 – 27 August. And of course the Party on the Pitch at the MCC on 31 July.
We have plans for a number of Reader Offers in the Autumn, including our very own green fingered Glennis Byron hosting a gathering of readers to let us know what to plant for maximum effect the following year. Keep your eye out for details in future editions.
It has been great fun sourcing the independent retailers, this month in Mahón. We are so lucky to have such talented people running such wonderful shops, and need to continue to support them. A week or so back, I was introduced to a Menorcan gate-maker just outside Sant Climent. He is only one of six left, and is a totally focused craftsman dedicated to his cause.
And a recent trip to Alaior, being shown round by my friend Victor was also a real eye opener. We went to meet a very talented jeweller, and on the next visit a violin maker – so many exciting young people, many following traditional crafts. It is all very uplifting.
But for now, enjoy the sunshine, and don’t forget to keep smelling the roses.