Sunday, 9 January 2011

Rafael Nadal - The Tourist Attraction

Thinking of heading to Manacor? Read on..

Courtesy: Rafaholics

Tennis' number 1 has become Manacor's greatest tourist attraction with foreigners turning up asking for his museum and his home

Rafael Nadal's home town of Manacor is fashionably thanks to tennis' world number 1. The balance of the year 2010 that has just ended, the workers at the Town Hall department of tourism have revealed that the phenomenon of the tennis ace keeps growing. What most strikes one's attention in this respect is the increasing number of inquiries made about the champion's life and career. At the local Tourist Office, in Plaza Ramon Llull, many visitors ask: "Where is the Rafael Nadal Museum?" Others are interested in his family home, while the biggest fans of the sport want to know about his training sessions at the now historic Manacor Tennis Club or at the new tennis training center situated beside the Manacor Museum of History.

"Where can we find him?" they have interrogated enough times that those in attendance at the Manacor Tourist Office have been asked countless times. Equally, at their office in Porto Cristo, there are no limits when it comes to asking questions about the local favorite son, winner of 43 singles titles, of which his nine Grand Slams and the Olympic gold in Beijing stand out, as well as the Davis Cups. Tourists of different nationalities have even asked: "Where is his house?"

But, neither in the Manacor Tourist Office nor in the one in Porto Cristo do they disclose the location of the houses that are the desired object of pilgrimage. As for his training sessions, both offices say that "the huge majority of the times we have had to tell them there are tournaments going on and, therefore, he is not in town".

All this confirms the passion that Nadal arouses. While there has been a certain discretion on his home turf on the part of his fellow natives, a surprising respect for him (whether this is not to annoy him, a lack of interest, or because of jealousy, political influences or family members), as the years go by, according to the Diario de Mallorca, greater enthusiasm can be observed among both the island residents and foreigners.

In fact, there are citizens who propose having a statue of Rafa on a prominent access route to the town, as well as a museum with photos and trophies. The Manacor Tennis Club (in Avinguda del Parc) admit that they have thought about this, although the idea has not yet come to fruition.

Apart from questions relating to Rafa, the Manacor Tourist Office is most frequently asked about pearls, the caves in Porto Cristo and the Els Dolors church. They are asked for maps of the area showing the attractions, public baths and public transport timetables. The person on duty always points out the existence of the history Museum.

In Porto Cristo most inquiries are about the emblematic Hams and Drach caves. They are also often asked for information about unspoiled beaches and if there are walks they can recommend. The lack of hotels is remarked upon with surprise and the Tourist Office officials usually respond that it is precisely because of this that the village conserves its traditional seaside charm.
To those who they like the cycling explains the possibility of taking to the track bici to them from the highway to Porto Christ and Cala Eel.

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