Palma de Mallorca
The recent decision of the German authorities to include the Balearic Islands among the risk areas to which it advises not to travel it is a very hard blow for the tourist sector of the archipelago. Since yesterday, for example, German tour operators have already begun to cancel their organized trips to the islands. Germany keeps the region’s recovery in suspense, despite the fact that its restrictions are lower than those of UK.
The next step will be to gradually repatriate the German tourists. It is estimated that at the moment there are about 40,000 in Mallorca, which is still their favorite destination. For its part, from the Government they still see it possible to save the current season if Germany decided to relax its current position in the coming days. “It is what we all expect”, explained yesterday the Minister of Tourism of the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, to the regional channel IB3. He also stressed that the community continues to be “a safe destination” and added that “every effort” will be made to achieve “extend the season as long as possible.”
Along the same lines of prudence, the president of the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation (FEHM), María Frontera, although she described as “very bad news” for the Balearic Islands the restrictive measures adopted last Friday by Germany.
Paradoxically, just two months ago the initial expectations of what the current tourist season in the Balearic Islands could turn out to be reasonably optimistic. Thus, between June 15 and 21, the pilot plan to open safe tourist corridors with Germany. That plan had been promoted by the Executive chaired by the socialist Francina Armengol with the support of the main economic and social agents of the community.
Already in July, not only German tourists began to arrive at a good pace, but also British and other nationalities. In the specific case of Mallorca, last month it opened 57% of the hotel plant, with an average occupancy of 37%. In this context, it was estimated that the situation could surely be somewhat better in August.
In addition, epidemiological data regarding Covid-19 They then showed a very low incidence of infections and active cases in the Balearic Islands, below the Spanish average and that of other European countries.
This moderate general optimism began to be truncated on July 26, when the United Kingdom decreed that all travelers coming from Spain they should be quarantined for 14 days. Subsequently, coinciding with the beginning of August, a constant increase in coronavirus cases began in the Balearic Islands, which has now made the archipelago widely exceed the threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, the maximum limit set by Germany.
Germany, not so drastic
In any case, the decision taken now by Berlin is not as drastic as the one taken by Great Britain, since in principle German tourists will “only” have to undergo a PCR test upon returning to their country, without ruling out a possible quarantine if necessary. . Furthermore, there is still hope that those measures may change shortly. That would be one of the reasons why, for example, yesterday they remained the 155 scheduled flights at Palma’s Son Sant Joan airport with Germany.
Even so, the majority sentiment is pessimistic today, since the closure of most of the hotel plant in the Balearic Islands is not ruled out right now before the end of this month of August if the situation does not change. Germany currently has the last word.