In these celebrity obsessed times, what is the endorsement of a Prime Minister worth? Well according to PR experts in the UK, David Cameron’s well documented spring break in Lanzarote generated some 1.2 million euros worth of free media coverage for the island. But just how free was it exactly? As to many long term residents this so called holiday was little more than a slick PR stunt, designed to generate column inches for both the island and the Cameron’s, whilst also depicting ‘just-call-me-Dave’ as a real down to earth kind of dude.
Business or pleasure Mr Cameron? Well in truth it was a little bit of both. As despite desperately trying to depict themselves as just an ordinary family in search of some Easter sun there can be little doubt that our Eton educated PM’s visit last month was also very carefully choreographed in close cahoots with the local tourist board.
Why so? Well there was of course the now obligatory, man of the people arrival on a Ryanair flight, a publicity ruse perfected by Tony Blair and also often utilised by our ever so ordinary Royals. And given David’s well recorded love of chillaxing he didn’t just flop out by the pool with the kids, as would be expected of any other 47 year old father at the not very secret location of Casa Tomaren, an exclusive and expensive rural retreat which specialises in yoga breaks.
As instead his hand-picked itinerary included photo opportunities in some of the island’s key locations, encompassing surfing with the kids at Famara, the most picturesque beach on the island, shopping at Teguise market – Lanzarote’s busiest weekly event and dining in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote’s largest tourist resort. All of which suggests that the Cameron’s were hardly trying to get away from it all whilst also ensuring a steady stream of daily coverage in both local and international media.
Well they say that there can be a sting in the tail – and there certainly is in this tale. As on the penultimate day of his holiday the PM was stung on the arm by a jellyfish whilst swimming at Arrieta. Some observers (well, one actually) claim that a column of male British tourists formed immediately , only too keen to help administer a well-known natural remedy. Now that really would have made a great picture for the national press back home!