Spain’s Balearic Islands have been devastated due to UK travel restrictions, with the country currently off-limits to leisure travelers. Hundreds of hotels in Mallorca have made the decision to further suspend their reopening until the British return, according to local officials.
Typically, before the COVID-19 pandemic sets in, around 2.3 million Britons visit Mallorca each year.
This figure represents around 26% of the total tourist traffic of the destination according to ABC Mallorca.
However, amid the ongoing global restrictions, that figure has plummeted.
As a result, hoteliers in the area say there is a “huge void” which has been created by the lack of British visitors.
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The Mallorca Hotel Federation (FEHM) insists the destination is safe and all coronavirus rules will be followed to make it so.
Around 524 hotels associated with the FEHM are now open, nearly three times more than just two months ago.
Although the arrival of British tourists is “the big unknown” this season, tourism from other parts of Europe is starting to pick up as the country eases its own restrictions.
Currently, the Balearics have to rely on tourism from mainland Spain, as well as the Netherlands and Denmark.
The region is also turning to its main German market, which typically accounts for 40% of its tourism.
The UK market is the second largest for the islands, after German tourists and until the British are allowed to travel without going into quarantine on their return, the rest of the hotels say they will not open.
Hoteliers hope that the implementation of the COVID passport on July 1 will boost the recovery of the tourism industry.
MarÃa JosÃ© AguilÃ³ underlined: “It is necessary to continue to respect the rules to avoid reversing the positive situation. We cannot afford it.”
Hotel managers say they want Mallorca to be considered a “benchmark destination” for Covid security.
As of June 21, 25.5% of the inhabitants of the Balearic Islands were fully vaccinated.
In the last seven days cumulatively, there have been 19 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population.
By comparison, as of June 15, in the UK, that figure stands at 85.1.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.