TUI's director for Spain, Ian Livesey, says that the summer is "strong" and that the tour operator will be close to 2019 figures. He adds that TUI are in a better position to deal with an increase in the number of visitors than was the case in 2022, when there were issues with staff shortages. Other tour operators in the two main foreign tourism markets - Germany and the UK - are likewise predicting a strong summer, there having been indications that 2023 could in fact turn out to be an all-time record season, exceeding the number of visitors in 2018.
The first of May is always referred to as the official start of the summer season, the island having already been experiencing a busy April. If the predictions for May prove to be anything like correct, then May occupancy could well reinforce the likelihood of a record season. Balearic tourism ministry figures indicate that in 2018 there was 70% occupancy based on 95% of hotels having been open; in 2019 the occupancy was 67%, also with 95% opening.
Bookings are positive despite a general increase of around ten per cent in hotel room prices compared with 2022. Tour operators and hotels are saying that early bookings have gone well and that much will now depend on last-minute sales from June to October. It's accepted that reservations will fluctuate from week to week.
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But what about the mass exodus of tourism because it's not cheap anymore? And then to top it off ...passport controls? Surely the island must be desperate by now? Apparently, it's all falling apart. Or was that just wishful thinking?