Think Sport, Think Mallorca

The World Travel Market starts next week from the 1st to the 3rd of November at the Excel Centre in London. It’s the opportunity for the Worldwide travel industry to try and get back on track after the last 18 months of being in the state of flux.

So what is the message that the Balearic Government are taking to the World for 2022?

Firstly some praise for some of the initiatives I’ve seen so far. At the moment just under 500 cruise ships have been reserved in 2022. That’s around 100 short of the numbers in 2019 but it’s going in the right direction. Remember this was one of the hot potatoes in the war on sustainable tourism as it was questionable how much passengers spent when the disembark and therefore environmentally was it worth it. For me it shouldn’t just be about that, we must look at the other benefits, like provisioning, fuel, taxis, coaches and the jobs to keep the ports and airports funcional. Plus the more people that visit the more you showcase your destination for them to return on another holiday. I for one have been to a destination on holiday after visiting on a cruise for a day. 

Another positive was the news that United Airlines have announced that they will be flying direct to Palma Son Sant Joan Airport from Newark Liberty International Airport. The route will be operational from June 2022, with three flights per week provisionally scheduled between June and September. 

At the World Travel Market cyclist Sir Chris Hoy will help the Council of Mallorca promote the island as a sports tourism destination. The President Catalina Cladera said “ We are returning to the World Travel Market with the aim of recovering this market by promoting more sustainable, quality tourism with the emphasis on attracting amateur and professional sports tourists in order to extend the season. “Mallorca has a good climate almost all year round and has all the necessary facilities. We are a preferred destination for sports and this will reactivate tourist activity in the low season.”

It’s all good but the sports tourism part whilst positive is nothing new and to be honest we should already be in the position as the top sports tourism destination at least in Europe and arguably the World. 

This is not the first time I have written about this but it’s worth going over it again. 

Mallorca is a beautiful island of contrast. From the beautiful beaches in the North, to the mountains of the West, the caves and coves of the East and the bustling busy nightlife of the South. There is something for absolutely everyone. Another thing Mallorca has is amazing sporting facilities that are second to none and available for holiday makers and the people that live here. 

If you need any proof of the quality sporting facilities here then I would point you in the direction of the World class sportsmen that have come from the island. I’m always amazed that an island such as ours with a population of around 1 million, a distance from north to south of 100 km and from east to west of 70 km can produce so many World class Sportsmen and Women. The current crop of talent that were born here on the island includes the footballer Marco Asensio at Real Madrid, the Basketball player Rudy Fernandez at Real Madrid, Rafa Nadal the current World number 5 in tennis and Cata Coll the Spanish ladies under 17 goalkeeper who’s just won the World Cup in that age group and the Women’s Champions League with her club Barcelona. Moto GP is another sport where we excel, firstly Jorge Lorenzo who was a three time World Champion and currently lying third in the Moto GP World Championship is Palma born Joan Mir. 

I am a season ticket holder at Real Mallorca who currently play in La Liga and are holding their own mid-table. Their state of the art training facilities just outside Palma, have been used by Chelsea and the German National team. We also have another professional team called Atlético Baleares who play in Primera RFEF equivalent to League One in England. I have two sons playing in youth football and every ground you go to is a purpose built stadium with an Astro turf pitch. 

There are over 20 stunning golf courses and the European Tour has just held the Mallorca Golf Open at the Santa Ponsa 1 course. Won by Denmark’s Jeff Winther and featured former Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer. The first edition of the Mallorca Tennis Championships boasted a spectacular roster of some of the best players on the circuit, including Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista. From 18th to 25th June 2022, Mallorca will once again enjoy a spectacular event at the refurbished facilities of the Mallorca Country Club in Santa Ponça, where the best professional tennis players will complete their final preparations for their participation in Wimbledon. 

Not forgetting of course the Rafa Nadal Academy based in Manacor, He has converted his training place into a high performance tennis centre. Together with his team, Rafa has created a unique training system, based on the experience acquired during all his years through the ATP circuit. This method includes the formation on values that, without a doubt, have been a fundamental element for the achievement of his triumphs.

Mallorca is widely regarded as cycling’s most popular island, a go-to destination for anyone looking for sunshine, smooth roads and an exhilarating variety of terrain. While the whole island caters for the sport, most enthusiasts will make a bee-line to the North of the island which offers some of the best of cycling routes. 

BEST – Bluewater Elite Sports Training Centre in Colonia de San Jordi is the number one outdoor Olympic swim centre in Europe, and has attracted sports teams and individual athletes from across the world for training camps and clinics for the past 10 years. 

If you need me to convince you any more about our status as a leading sporting destination then ask the many sports men and women including the cyclists, swimmers, divers, sailors, gymnasts, boxers and athletes who trained here to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Name me another island destination that can boast all of the above. 

Think sport, think Mallorca. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

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