Positive Tourism News Please

Just as we seem to be coming out of the pandemic and there’s light at the end of a very long tunnel, our people in power seem to be throwing out tourism negativity. President Armengol this week said “You cannot put all your eggs in the same basket” in reference to Tourism being the dominant industry on the islands. Can we at least put some eggs back in the basket before you start on your push for power in the elections next year please. The PSOE have been in coalition power here since 2012 and Armengol has been President since 2015. In all that time this is the first I’ve heard of a push for more diversification. 

At the peak holiday booking period since Christmas for the UK market, holiday makers had a wall of reasons not to book to come to the Balearics.

Surely it would have been prudent to say that all the current restrictions would be lifted by the time Easter and the Summer comes? Boris Johnson announced on January 24th that vaccinated travelers will not have to take a COVID-19 test after arriving in England from February 11th. So it could have been done. I understand the numbers have been high and needed to come down but they have been since after the holidays here on January 6th. So surely it would better put positivity out there not negativity?

Before and since Christmas all we’ve heard is;

Negative: Face masks are compulsory inside and outside.

Positive: From Thursday this week the rules were relaxed for outside wearing.

Negative: Covid passports needed to be shown in bars, cafes and restaurants.

Positive: From today that rule is scrapped.

Negative: 12-18 year olds need to be double jabbed. 

No Solution: A crazy restriction that has proven already to be affecting tourism in the Canaries as just 17% of over 12’s in England have been double jabbed. Hoteliers there are calling for the Government to cancel that restriction to help to prevent severe losses to the tourism industry.

Jorge Marichal, president of the Tenerife Hoteliers Association, predicted that losses could be almost €400m for hotels alone, before even considering the rest of the economy. 

The Executive Vice President of the Mallorca Hotels Federation, María José Aguilo said “what the tourism sector really needs is to regain British market share and for this it is necessary for the central government to change the restrictions that weigh on British 12-18 year olds. Every day that passes without this situation being resolved, competing destinations are gaining ground.”

Negative: Booster jab needed for anyone whose last jab was over 270 days(9 months) ago. 

No Solution: So if you’ve had two jabs and the second was 270 days ago, you will need a booster jab taken more than 14 days before your arrival date.

Negative: Probably the most controversial and the one that has created a lot of negative press and in some cases incorrect press in the UK is the new tourism of excess laws. Now these laws are nothing new they were brought in at the beginning of 2020. But because of Covid, the resorts that they apply to haven’t really been open for 2 years. 

So let me try and clear this up.

No Solution: This new law only applies to the resorts of Magaluf, Playa de Palma and Arenal in  Mallorca and San Antonio in Ibiza. There are maps that have been drawn in which there are red zones and in some cases they don’t cover all the resort.  Magaluf in particular being a prime example of this. Which is where it falls down for me. How can you have an establishment on one side of the road in the red zone but another establishment on the other side of the road not in the red zone? And as was pointed out by our esteemed Editor this week, it’s very easy to get trashed in Palma Nova and walk or stagger into Magaluf. It should be one rule for all or not at all. By the way I’m happy for the rule to be for all and then I’m sure standards will improve. Holiday makers will be swayed by the service they receive not by a free shot of “alcohol” that could clean my patio. 

The actual law is any guest on an all inclusive holiday staying in the red zones are only allowed 3 free drinks at lunchtime and 3 free drinks at dinner. All other drinks can be purchased. I copied this from the Easyjet holidays website from a hotel in Magaluf, that has it correct. “Just so you know, due to a change in the law in the Balearic Islands – which applies to summer 2021 travel and beyond – this hotel will now be offering an “All Inclusive light” package. This hotel includes a maximum of three alcoholic drinks per person during lunch, and three with dinner. You’ll have the choice of beer or wine. Outside of these times, alcoholic drinks are payable locally.” 

I love the “all inclusive light” analogy, is that the low calorie all inclusive? 

I find the law above unclear and so does a lot of the UK press. One headline read, “Brits in Ibiza and Mallorca limited to six drinks a day in drinking crackdown.” 

I do fully support though the laws aiming to put an end to bar crawls, 2×1 parties, happy hours, free drinks and also bans on alcohol from being sold in nighttime stores, which will now have to close from 9.30pm to 8am. Also the banning of so-called balconing, a term that refers to drunken people jumping from balcony to balcony in their hotels, or attempting to launch themselves from great heights into swimming pools. We have had quite a few deaths from this and it can’t go on. 

So whilst on the one hand there are good intentions here I find the whole thing muddled and I work here. I’ve had loads of friends in the UK questioning what it actually means. So my thoughts are, if this is the route you want to go down to end “Booze Tourism” make it a blanket ban across all resorts but make it clear. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.00-10am 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! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

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