This week I’m looking at what can be done to kick start the travel industry in Majorca. Remember that the Islands tourism GDP is 44% and if you take into account all the third party businesses that support the industry then we are looking at closer to 85%. There aren’t many countries in the World that rely so heavily on just one industry, so there has never been a more important time. I’ve lived here for 30 years and worked in travel in some form or another for all of that time and although there’s been problems, they were nothing on this scale. In fact if you add, strikes, power cuts, ash clouds, recession, terrorist attacks, all together, I don’t think you’ll get close to the problems there are right now. I’ve always been a glass half full type and I can definitely see the green shoots of a recovery slowly but surely appearing. In the last week I have met with the Mayor of Calvia Alfonso Rodriguez and the President of the Mallorca Hotel Federation Maria Frontera. Both gave me reason for confidence moving forward but there is still a lot of work to be done.
The vaccine firstly brings hope, with each company fighting each other for the highest effectiveness percentage. They’re a bit like a London bus you wait eight months for one and in the end three arrive at the same time. Interesting that Quantas were one of the first airlines this week to come out and say that all international travellers on the airline will have to have the vaccination. Although Ryanair’s CEO has come and said that it will not work for short haul European flights. That remains to be seen but I wouldn’t be surprised that if you want to travel then some sort of health passport is going to be needed.
The Balearic Government have asked all international travellers arriving on the islands to provide a negative test taken in the last 72hrs. My understanding is that they’re pushing for all national arrivals to have to provide one too. There’s a lot of comments around saying that companies are profiteering on the price of a PCR test. I rang a UK chemist for a Spanish friend of mine this week. They quoted £110.00 for a test done 48hrs before a flight or £225.00 if just 24hrs before. Most flights right now are cheaper than the test but don’t be surprised if that comes down before next summer. The President of the Hotel Association said they are pushing for the much quicker and cheaper Anti-Gen tests, which look like they will come in soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the airlines or Tour Operators got together to offer a deal on the test or possibly include it in their packages. It would be a great USP(unique selling point) if someone could make it pay. Some senior members of the tourist industry in Majorca called for money raised through the tourist tax be used to pay for PCR test for tourists. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing in my opinion. It probably doesn’t go with the sustainability message put forward but the jury is still out as to whether the money is going to the right places.
We’ve got to get across the positivity of travelling to the island out there quickly. The peak booking period in the UK is January so we don’t have long to get that Feelgood message out there.
If we can get the people here then we need to make sure we are ready to welcome them. I’ve said before with Easter falling early at the beginning of April then some businesses may decide to wait until the beginning of May. I feel the Government need to offer businesses deals to open. Tax breaks, social security breaks, IVA reduction would be quick ideas to get the island moving. Surely a business open, employing people and paying back something into the system is better than the paralysis we have right now? Remember some businesses when they do eventually open would have been closed for around eighteen months. You can’t expect them to try and pick up where they left off without a little bit of help. What you don’t want is the island open for business and half its businesses aren’t, as that will create negativity on Social Media, thus deterring future travellers from coming to us. We are in the same boat as all other destinations around the World so competition will be tough but we’ve got to come out fighting.
Majorca in my opinion is one of the best holiday destinations in the World. We’re an island with turquoise blue waters, secret coves, soft golden sands, lush green foliage, rugged mountains, picturesque villages, amazing cuisine, bustling nightlife and a vibrant capital city. We’re also an island in the Med only a couple of hours flight from most European cities. Rest assured that we are all working behind the scenes to get this island moving again so when you’re looking at holidays for next season, make #Majorca2021 your destination.
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!