Curtains are seriously twitching! And locals, with all their bravado at flouting and relaxing their own versions of Covid-19 protocol, have started worrying; and dare I say, getting more than a little concerned over the massive surge in holiday bookings across their beautiful island.
A reported estimate of 5 million tourists are scheduled to pass through Palma airport during July and August, and to be quite honest, the thought of those numbers arriving in Majorca, at this time of critical concern, are terrifying! It’s understandable for the island’s economy to seek some form of recovery from tourism, but at what cost?
In our own small village, things have already been prematurely relaxed. It’s been wonderfully heartwarming to see the local cafés and bars open and operating, yet over-confidence in some areas is already causing some alarm. But I suppose that within a small community, at least there is the impression that we are all supposedly, watching each other’s backs?
On the other hand, a mass import of total strangers, albeit holidaymakers who have hand picked and chosen Majorca to spend their cash, along with their vacation, is still extremely daunting. We blindly expect that visitors at this current time will be absolutely respectful of all the correct protocol in place, and endeavor to protect others around them, but I rather doubt this will be the case. After all, if visitors are arriving from other countries which are already struggling to control their own behaviour during this virus pandemic, then they are not exactly heeding safety precautions at all by travelling to get here in the first place! People in denial simply don’t want to concede to the fact that air travel remains the principle method of transporting and spreading Covid-19 around the world. We all know the airlines need supporting, along with many other industries, but it’s a truly complicated and difficult dilemma! We can only trust and hope that these pending visitors who are apparently in such desperate need of a holiday, will be just as desperate to shield locals, and be concerned about their own holiday behaviour when they arrive, doing their utmost not to create a spike to our receding numbers by behaving inappropriately. It’s one thing to positively set out advised protocol in black and white, but a completely different kettle of fish for people to respectfully see those ideals through.
Sadly, once in ‘gung-ho’ vacation mode, many well meaning ideals fail miserably, especially when a few drinks are involved. Of course, you can’t tar everyone with the same brush, but newsreels don’t lie, and global reporting has given us all a very good idea of how certain individuals are recklessly behaving and responding to other’s virus concerns! Covid19 doesn’t spread on its own . . . it needs help from individuals who don’t care!
On a lighter note, I don’t blame people one bit for wanting to get away and visit Majorca’s sun kissed shores. We usually plan a vacation ourselves during the summer months, but this year, all thoughts of any travel involving leaving the island have been shelved, locked in a box and the key thrown away. Number one, I’m not ready to trust the protocol of fellow passengers, being totally unaware of their social footprint. Literally days after the watering holes in UK were opened, three pubs have already closed due to positive testing of the virus! Neither do I trust the sketchy safe-distance (not) concept of airline travel at the moment. And number two, why would we even think of going anywhere when everything we need for a perfect ‘staycation’ is right here on our wonderful doorstep!
If we go anywhere this year it will definitely be somewhere on the island, aimed to support and boost our own local enterprise. If everyone did the same thing, then surely local economies in all affected countries would benefit. Admittedly, the sun might not be shining so much as it is here, but without the obvious travel concerns involved, the world would recover at a much quicker pace!
But like I said, I don’t blame people one jot for seeking escape from the borders of their own grey lives to visit our sunny island. I just wish the numbers didn’t sound so invasive! Unsurprisingly, the reason these visitors are coming reflects the exact same reasons as to why we located here to Majorca in the first place, over fifteen years ago.
I love Majorca wholeheartedly. To me, the island has always been like a naughty child that is constantly full of surprises. It’s just about the right size - small enough to be manageable, yet large enough to remain diverse and interesting. Despite occasional miss-placed opinion, Majorca is not just all about fun-packed beaches and overcrowded tourist resorts. Far from it! Even though the island remains one of the world’s top holiday destinations, Majorca is more about variety and contrasts along with a constantly changing coastline.
Dramatic rocky landscapes drop dizzily into cristaline waters. Hidden coves and ‘calas’ gracefully host sugar-soft sandy beaches. Lush pine woodlands and the verdant mountain of the Sierra de Tramuntana provide a dramatic backdrop, claiming the western coastline from Cap de Formentor to Puerto Andratx.
The island’s secret interior showcases rural villages, along with terraced orange and lemon groves, and acres of native olive trees, twisting their gnarled branches through dry-stoned walls that line the network of winding lanes criss-crossing our photogenic island.
Monasteries on lofty peaks punctuate the skyline with sunset clouds draping their saintly shoulders. The cornfields are golden. The almond blossom in February, ubiquitous. The island experience is totally sublime, with 300 sun dappled days to indulge all your carefree whims. This is my Majorca, so why would I be going anywhere?
There are 400 km of unbeatable hiking trails to explore, with perpendicular climbs to challenge both spirit and soul. There are galleries and museums to arouse your cultural cravings; and over 2,500 restaurants to excite your appetite, from local favourites to high-end gourmet eateries which satisfy the most ardent foodies. Eight trending Michelin star restaurants are fast securing Majorca’s place among the upper echelons of fine dining holiday destinations, promoting the island’s many virtues to a differently spirited consumer.
A plethora of luxury hotels are also celebrating the growing demand for 5 star island accommodation, validating the upwardly mobile change in visitors to our magical island.
Reflecting the island’s famed diversity, the capital city of Palma continues to be a vibrant, heady mix of contrasts between historically old and an ongoing new. Traditional classic and contemporary chic marry well in the background shadow of Palma’s iconic landmark Cathedral – Le Seu, imploring you to explore the secret city within.
With all this going on it’s no wonder the islanders feel so protective towards it, and although Majorca welcomes tourists, we just want to feel confident and re-assured that any visitors will not abuse the current situation with reckless and shambolic behaviour.
This is our Majorca. So if you thought it was all about kiss-me-quick hats, chips and Magalluf – think on! And please treat it with respect!