These are very distressing times. In normal circumstances hotels closing for the season in August would have got alarm bells ringing. These days it is just the new normal. But the Balearics has been given an unwelcome breathing space, one which will give the island time to take stock and look at the future.
I doubt that the islands have ever been this quiet in August for more than three decades. But we could be using this time for something constructive and of vital importance; deciding what is the future of the tourist industry. Do the islands want to go upmarket, with fewer visitors and more spending power? Do the Balearics want to continue with its present model of mass tourism which puts a drain on the island's limited resources?
To be honest I would say that it is a mixture of the two; perhaps fewer tourists but staying in four and five star hotels. Perhaps the days of the three or lower starred hotel are over. At the end of the day over recent years the islands have become rather overcrowded. Now, is the time to design the blue-print for the future. Is there a place for the infamous party streets in Arenal and Magalluf in this “new Majorca?”
I would say that the majority of islanders would say no. Now is the time to start planning for the future. There are no tourists this year but next year, hopefully they will be back and by then we should have a good idea of what the future of the industry should be.