Javier Vich. | Jaume Morey

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Javier Vich is the president of the Palma Hoteliers Association and CEO of the Summum Hotel Group. He admits to being concerned about the impact on tourism markets of reports regarding protests against overcrowding.

He himself says that he wouldn't go to a place where he perceived there to be animosity towards tourists.

"It is very difficult to build a destination and very easy to destroy it. The main problem we have here is the lack of housing, roads, parking, sewage treatment plants plus the supply of illegal holiday rentals. We cannot leave demographic growth out of the debate, as it is a key factor. Now that discontent has been expressed on the streets, work must be done on addressing it, never forgetting that we have always been hospitable.

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"There are clients who ask at reception what is happening on the streets, especially because the most sensationalist press give us headlines every day. It is true that we have a problem. The hotel sector said ten years ago that it could not grow any further in volume. We all now have a responsibility to say where we want to go, but to do so responsibly."

Vich rejects the notion that a 'quality tourist' is the one who spends the most. "Quality tourism means respectful people. You can have clients in a three-star hotel who are respectful - quality tourists regardless of the money they spend."

He is supportive of President Prohens' pact for sustainable tourism. "We congratulate the government because it seems to to be a very good initiative and it could be the start of a global strategy."

For now, and despite his concerns, he says that the season is going very well in Palma. "Reservations are at a very similar pace to those of 2023; a little more in fact. We do not see anything that makes us think that this year will not be the same as 2023 or better. Palma is managing to extend the season with a good level of activity ten months a year. November works well and now we have to try to be more attractive in December and January. From February onwards, we are getting traction without any problem."