Meliá Hotel Villa Le Blanc in Minorca. | J. Gilabert

Evidence of the recovery of tourism in 2022 can be found in the financial figures of Mallorca's 'big four' hotel groups - Barceló, Iberostar, Meliá and Riu.

While these figures are in certain instances not complete, they do point to performance that was up to twice as good as in 2021 and even better than in pre-pandemic 2019. Riu is particularly notable in this regard. Revenue in 2022 was 2,905 million euros, 111% more than in 2021 and 30% above 2019.

Luis Riu explains that 2022 was very profitable as budgets were designed to minimise the lasting impact of the pandemic and of market unpredictability. "We were governed by containment of spending." As to demand, there was an "explosion". "It was so strong that we did not need to resort to offers."

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Cost containment was a key factor for Meliá. Operating costs in 2022 were 6.4% lower than in 2019, an element of this containment having come from negotiations with energy suppliers to reduce bills. Current figures are up to the third quarter. Profit of over 50 million euros to end-September was up 130% over 2021; revenue rose 145%.

Barceló's forecast revenue for 2022 is up 104% from 2021 and will be above that of 2019; the annual accounts have yet to be published. For CEO Raúl González, the recovery is such that the group is anticipating "record" turnover in 2023.

Where Iberostar is concerned, the company didn't publish information for the parent company during the pandemic, but its W2M travel division well exceeded budgeted turnover for 2022 - 300 million euros above the target of 1,120 million. CEO Gabriel Subías says that the plan for 2023 is for 1,860 million euros in revenue.

It needs stressing that these are figures for four powerful global companies with diverse operations, such as Meliá's conferences' wing, and the type of muscle (to negotiate with energy suppliers, for instance) not shared by smaller hotel groups in Mallorca. Even so, they are an indication of how well tourism bounced back in 2022 and not just in Mallorca.