This summer's tourism has been "going well". | Jaume Morey


In Mallorca, there is more than one employers group for hotel business. The Mallorca Hoteliers Federation is the most prominent, but another is the ACH Association of Hotel Chains. It has a new president, Carolina Quetglas, the CEO of BQ Hotels, who stresses that this summer season "is going well" but states that there "is total uncertainty" regarding the autumn and winter. "The looming economic crisis is very strong. This will undoubtedly affect tourist activity. Nobody knows what will happen because everything is very changeable."

She explains that hotel companies are facing an inflationary situation that is going to have a negative impact on their bottom lines. "Energy, food and beverage bills have been doubling every month." This will therefore influence contractual agreements with tour operators for summer 2023. "It will be necessary to pass on part of the cost increases. Negotiations will be complex. We are clear, though, that moderate increases in price will depend on each hotel and product. It is a question of the market."

Inflation will be a very important factor as the hotel sector sits down to negotiate a new pay and conditions agreement. Quetglas observes that increases in pay over recent years have been significant. While there was delay in implementing annual increases because of the pandemic, the last package that was agreed amounted to 17% over four years. "We will assume moderate increases for a new agreement. Hoteliers are not to blame for soaring inflation. In the good financial years we have supported the unions. They must now understand the current situation with a view to the next agreement."

On the Balearic government's intentions to eradicate so-called tourism of excesses, Quetglas says that the hoteliers have asked for this and advocated it. "You have to be more forceful. Hoteliers have no qualms about throwing customers out of hotels if they cause problems. Where we are critical is with the fact that the appropriate means are not in place to put an end to this scourge."

There are regular complaints from the hotel sector about the increase in the number of holiday rentals. She says that there has been much growth over the past three years, "which is why we are asking the inspection services to control it". "The illegal offer benefits the submerged economy. The problem is that there is a lack of housing on the islands. The proliferation of rentals has been detrimental because many workers in the tourism sector can't come to the islands as they can't afford the rents. And this has a negative impact on the entire Balearic tourism industry."