The season doesn’t last long, but it saves the furniture

Palma“The tourist season has lengthened and will last a little longer,” said the Minister for the Economic Model, Tourism and Employment, Iago Negueruela, in the Governing Council last Friday. It’s not a statement to come back as the story of the idea of ​​extending the season began in early summer. The start of the tourist activity had been postponed due to restrictions and there was uncertainty. And when it looked like it was starting to work, the fifth wave and the study travelers’ macro bread emerged. Sotracs and holes in the reactivation path. At the same time, the council also insisted on the idea of ​​extending this season, announcing and promoting various sporting events on the islands. But in spite of all this, it is clear to the hoteliers: The extension was not and is not expected.

“The season is completely over,” says the President of the Hotel Association Alcúdia, Jaume Horrach, on the possible extension. “It ended like another ended” with no date differentiation. Other hoteliers such as the president of Small and Medium Hotels in Mallorca, Joan Manuel Ordinas, are more strict: “In the first half of October there were already many who had closed the barrier,” adding that, in his opinion, they said things the does not correspond to the knowledge of the market.

According to industry voices, a normal season usually begins at Easter and ends in October. The clearest evidence that things will not go on this year is that, according to the Mallorca Hotel Association, FEHM, 64% of the Mallorcan hotel complex will be closed after the Tots Sants bridge. In addition, with regard to vacation rentals, the bridge will only remain open for 50% and the rest is forecast at around 30% occupancy.

The season in economic data

The economy in the islands has been growing since the second quarter of this year, after many months without it. They grew the most in the third quarter, and according to the Impulsa Foundation, flows increased 152.1% year over year in July and August. More than the national average, which is 95.5%. In addition, spending on tourists has also increased by 174.9%, above the Spanish average of 126.5%. Impulsa President Antoni Riera explains that the reason for this increase is because the islands were one of the municipalities that fell the most in 2020, but that they were able to demonstrate a higher level of attraction than the others. . The proof is that 42.9% of these tourist expenses are to be reimbursed in the Balearic Islands, while in the state it is 52%.

However, a few days ago the BBVA published its data to review the growth of the autonomous communities. The islands have slashed their forecasts, which is primarily inconsistent with the good data that appears to be there. The forecasts are more pessimistic, according to Riera, as both the World Economic Forum and the Bank of Spain have revised downwards. “There is a tendency to believe that the recovery in economic activity will not be as strong as expected,” says Riera, explaining that the reasons include cuts in supply chains and rising prices in general (especially for goods) .

The compensation for hoteliers

“Atypical”, “irregular” and “unstable” are some of the adjectives that come to light when hoteliers are asked about the season. For Horrach, Ordinas as well as for the President of the Hotel Association of Playa de Palma, Isabel Vidal, the season started loosely and full of obstacles. Covid-19 waves, red lights from Germany and Great Britain, which end with September and October, “which have gathered in 2019,” said Jaume Horrach. This instability has resulted in employment falling from an average of 40% to 70%. The immutability was found with that 40% when it was usually found in April and the weeks of July this year, Ordinas said.

One factor that shaped a lot this season was instability. Because of the Covid threat, the cancellations were sold “very cheaply”. Restructuring had to be undertaken within about a week, sometimes “within 24 hours”. “Yesterday you needed ten workers and tomorrow there were four left,” explains the President of Small and Medium Hotels. In addition, the differences between the areas have been huge, which has resulted in the nightlife-centric sectors cutting prices by almost 30 or 40% to combat their absence.

Given this situation given by the Covid-19 crisis, the question arises as to whether it is necessary to have almost maximum employment for the season to be profitable. The Vice Dean for Tourism of the UIB, Tolo Deyà, explains that there is a concept called “dead center”. Basically, it is the percentage of occupied rooms that will be needed to make up for this. On the islands it is estimated that between 50 and 60% is needed for each hotel. A very high number that condemns large streams of tourists in order to make the Mallorcan hotel complex profitable. “The margins are very small and the number of tourists is still very important,” says Deyà, proving that it was worse 10 or 20 years ago.

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