Friday, November 16, 2007

Pick Up My Guitar And Play

Is Paco de Lucía the tourist image that the Balearics needs?

This is a question posed in today’s “Ultima Hora”. The Spanish guitarist is now the new face of the Balearics. That Paco may prove to be a “magnificent ambassador” for the islands I will not question, but I will pose the question that will come to many lips - who is he?

In the past there have been various faces knocking around as promotional hooks for the Balearics and Mallorca - Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer, Anna Kournikova. Like them or not, at least most people have heard of them; Paco on the other hand. I suppose in all of this is the idea that Paco will represent something a tad more cultural than the likes of German supermodels or over-hyped Russian tennis-players. That Paco is arguably Spain’s most famous flamenco guitarist and that he has taken flamenco to a wider audience and crossed-over into other musical forms (e.g. into jazz with the likes of John McLaughlin) is not in dispute, but I ask how many people among the general mass of British tourists could tell you who he is. Were his appointment, if one can use such a word, as the face of Balearic tourism solely for Spanish consumption, then all would be fine, but the gig he’s been landed with was being pushed at the London World Travel Market, from which follows the conclusion that he is the international face of Balearic tourism.

Can someone tell me what exactly does being the face of Balearic tourism entail? Does Paco front some ads or what? Come Boxing Day, and there it is, a TV ad for the Balearics, shots of turquoise seas and a grinning waiter pouring some sangria before gleefully trousering some euros and up pops Paco strumming a few chords before saying in good Fred Pontin style - “Book early”. No, I don’t think so either.

Weather - winter has arrived. Cold and wet. Apparently the Dijous Bo day at Inca yesterday was pretty well attended. Brave that’s all I can say.

Yesterday - Barbara Streisand, “The Way We Were”. Today’s title - a line from?


No comments: