A repeat of 2022 is not anticipated in 2023. | Juan Luis Ruiz Collado


The European Central Bank, the travel associations in the two main tourism markets - ABTA in the UK and DRV in Germany - are among sources predicting that the 2022 level of tourism will not be repeated next year.

For Mallorca and the Balearics, where there are in any event additional cost pressures because of insularity, sectors within the tourism industry - hotels, restaurants, coach operators, car hire - are all facing the prospect of having to raise prices. So also are the airlines and the shipping companies.

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Despite inflation, the current season has witnessed tourist numbers returning to levels similar to those in 2019. A general view is that 2022 summer tourism has benefited from a post-Covid bounce. Regardless of higher prices, there has been a desire to travel and to use savings that had accumulated over the period of restricted mobility. This bounce is expected to fade away.

While policymakers in the Balearics have been pursuing a tourism competitiveness not driven by price, they now face a situation in which price is pretty much everything. The likes of ABTA and DRV say that all Mediterranean destinations will be affected by inflation, but certain ones - those outside the EU - have potentially greater governmental flexibility to intervene and influence the price of holidays.

Concerns have been expressed about what will happen after the summer season ends. For the Balearics, where tourist activity is low, these have not been major concerns. But all eyes are now on next summer. Consumers in the tourism markets are facing huge winter fuel bills on top of other price increases. On the islands, meanwhile, there are the negotiations for new pay agreements - a further pressure on employers' costs.