The Mallorca Tourist Board's annual awards. | Jaume Morey

Fomento del Turismo, the Mallorca Tourist Board, was founded in 1905. It was then and still is a private organisation. For decades, until the establishment of autonomous government in the Balearics in 1983 and the creation of the tourism ministry, it was this organisation that was chiefly responsible for tourism promotion of Mallorca. With the ministry came a loss of influence for the tourist board, although it still retains an important voice and does undertake some promotional activity, especially through international media contacts.

On Monday night, the board's annual awards were presented. Missing from this event at Palma's CaixaForum was the president, Eduardo Gamero, who was unable to get back from London because of the flight disruption caused by the snow.

The vice president, Bartomeu Servera, was therefore in charge of the awards and delivered the main speech. In this, he argued that the Fomento del Turismo "should have greater institutional representation because of everything it has been and for having professional representatives from all the productive sectors on the island".

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Its 117 years of existence, he added, "serve as an example, as the Fomento has always sought and wanted the best for Mallorca". "It has sought to defend to the maximum everything related to the tourism industry and to enhance the quality of all services in order to improve the industry's image."

In recent times, the tourist board has taken issue with certain government policies, the tourist tax in particular. Over the course of its history, it has opposed a tourist tax on four occasions. The first was in 1931 when Palma town hall considered a tax, and the second was in 1955, when the provincial delegation in Mallorca toyed with the idea of a tax. The other two occasions were the 2002 ecotax and the current sustainable tourism tax, which was introduced in 2016.

As to the awards, these included diplomas for the Hotel Cala Fornells, commemorating its 75th anniversary, and the Hotel Nixe Palace, celebrating its 65th anniversary.