Calvia has been the most popular municipal holiday destination in Spain for decades and the mayor, Alfonso Rodríguez, is determined to bolster Calvia’s global attraction, starting at the World Travel Market in London.
The Covid pandemic was extremely challenging for Calvia, but the mayor says that the council used the lockdown to protect and help local residents and society in general while also reaching out to the tourism industry and its supply chain, such as bars and restaurants, to help them through the difficult period. In addition, the administration looked ahead to economic recovery by launching a series of promotional campaigns in both the domestic and international markets, in particular the United Kingdom, which is a key source for Calvia.
“We spent the pandemic looking at new products we could develop and ways of improving what Calvia already has to offer.
“We learned a lot of lessons, the most important being that we had to look after the local community, both socially and economically, and ensure that we were and are a safe destination.
“What Covid showed us is that we are all extremely vulnerable, especially the tourism industry, and that we need to be prepared to deal with pandemics by having a strong and functioning health service, which we have, and the know-how with regard to protecting and helping the tourism industry as a whole. I can say that we have emerged from the pandemic in a much stronger position, thanks to the extremely close cooperation between the private and the public sector.
“Over the past few years, the private sector has invested a great deal of money in upgrading hotels and improving the quality of services and products we offer in Calvia.
“A prime example is that the best part of 75 percent of hotels in Magalluf and Palmanova are rated four or five star, and that is the path we intend to continue following.
“Very early on in the pandemic, strict anti-social behaviour laws were introduced and that was very important.
“Calvia has not got a problem with young people visiting our resorts to have fun and enjoy all we have to offer, but we want people to behave in a civilised and respectful way.
“We have seen a significant growth in the family and couples' markets, and we want all of these sectors of the industry to be able to enjoy Calvia in harmony and safety, while ensuring the well-being of the local community, which is highly dependent on tourism.
“What is more, as a result of Covid, holiday habits have changed, people want more open spaces and to be more active, hence why we’ve improved the services and quality of our beaches and created more open spaces. We are about to embark on upgrading and remodelling the sea front in Magalluf.
“We welcome a mixed market but want it to be compatible with the local community and the environment.
“Moving forward, the emphasis is no longer going to be on quantity, it is going to be on quality.
“If we receive fewer tourists but revenue increases, then we are on the right track.
“People don’t want to be in busy packed places, they want more freedom to enjoy Calvia’s wonderful natural and sustainable environment.
“And since the easing of restrictions, we have been able to demonstrate that Calvia is a safe and first-class destination.
“The quality offered is first rate - from hotels to bars and restaurants, not to mention our beaches and the mountains.
“But as importantly, and this is where Calvia is a winner, is that we have a wealth of sporting activities and world-class events to offer professionals and amateurs.
“Last summer, Calvia hosted the ATP Mallorca Championships in Santa Ponsa. The likes of world number Novak Djokovic and other top tennis players competed in the grass-court event, which is now one of the key warm-up tournaments for Wimbledon.
“We’ve just held the Mallorca Golf Open in Santa Ponsa, which is part of the European Tour and only one of three to be held in Spain.
“Calvia has also hosted the 2021 edition of Challenge Peguera Mallorca for the third year running, with athletes from all over the world taking part.”
The mayor says that the prestigious international sporting events are part of a strategic project to break tourist seasonality by means of the offer of products and services based on areas such as sport, scenery, culture and gastronomy. The mayor has stressed the importance of promoting sports events together with the promotion of tourist destinations as ideal places for “training camps” and sports practice.
“Apart from the competition and tournaments, Calvia offers a wide range of excellent facilities for athletes to come and train during the winter, plus a host of activities such as hiking, golf - we have five spectacular golf courses for all levels of golfer - and cycling. Be it along the coast or up into the mountains, Calvia is a sporting paradise during the low season. This means that the tourism industry can enjoy a longer season. which Calvia intends to continue working on and with quality as the key.
“We want to see satisfied visitors who will want to return to Calvia, explore the different resorts and experiences the municipality has to offer, while reaching out to a more varied market.
“This year, for example, apart from encouraging growth in new markets, we have welcomed more visitors from the likes of France, Italy and Scandinavia and, as I’ve said, we want everyone to enjoy Calvia in comfort and leave their troubles at home.
“The summer season sells itself, our beaches are second to none and the weather is perfect. We are now continuing to concentrate on expanding the tourist season and the industry between October and March; this is fundamental for the local economy.
“I think we’ve managed to eradicate the negative image and stigma Magalluf had for many years. In cooperation with the private sector, we have not only changed the face of the resort but also its essence and purpose. We hope that British tourists respond positively to what we have done to upgrade the resort and its urban surroundings.
“We want to ensure that everybody who comes to Calvia feels safe - and it is a safe destination, as we have demonstrated over the past six months - to have a wonderful time and return home having enjoyed maximum value for money and a quality experience.”