The cancellation of the ITB tourist fair in Berlin because of fears over the coronavirus is a major blow to the Balearics. Hundreds of members of the local tourist industry travel were due to travel to Berlin led by the President of the Balearic government Francina Armengol.
Yesterday, the local ministry for tourism decided to still head to Berlin for talks with the German tourist trade. But, obviously it won’t be the same. The German tourist market is vital to the Balearics and there is some concern locally about the state of this key market especially as a result of increased competition from resorts in the eastern Mediterranean which are cheaper.
The Balearic government and the tourist industry were hoping to receive reassurances that all was well but the cancellation of the fair has hit these plans hard. The tourist tax and the new booze rulings have not been too well received in Germany. The local government were hoping for a series of high level meetings with tour operators to discuss their new laws. Also, the coronavirus has affected the travel industry and there is concern locally that it could have a negative impact on the holiday season.
These are worrying times for the Balearic tourist industry. There were already reports that hotels would be opening later this year because of a fall in bookings. At the end of the day there is little the tourist industry can do, just wait on developments and hope that all will be alright in the end.