I walked past a street which is now home to a number of the new five-star boutique hotels in Palma yesterday only to discover that their outside entrances had been daubed with graffiti. It said quite bluntly "100 families could live here instead of a lucky few". Yes, it is probably true but these hotels are an important source of revenue and at the same time all are in old buildings which have been restored to their former glory and are an asset to the city. It is a case of changing attitudes.
There is now a very small but vocal element which appears opposed to tourism at a time when the industry is not exactly blooming. This vocal element must remember that without tourism this island would suffer very badly economically. There are social issues which need to be addressed on the island, but they have nothing to do with visiting tourists. Welcome them please, don’t scare them away.
No one is saying it publicly but in some cases hotels are only 60 per cent full. One hotelier told me this week that he couldn’t understand why the airport figures were so high but his occupancy level was so low. It is a nightmare situation at the moment and the blame game has already started. The simple truth is that the local government gambled on the fact that Turkey and north Africa would not be so popular and at the same time they decided to increase the rate of the tourist tax. Local hoteliers also raised their prices. And now they are paying for it. The problem has not been helped by the north European heatwave and the World Cup, but those who wanted less tourism have got their way. Be careful what you wish for.