You get the impression that the majority of business owners in Palma are counting the days before cruise ships start arriving again but the resident population is hoping that they stay clear of the port this year. The thought of 4,000 cruise ship passengers disembarking in Palma will send shivers down the spine of most people but for the business community it is all about survival.

The Palma Port Authority are busy putting all the health and safety measures in place so that cruise ships can visit Palma again but no-one is too sure whether this will be in July or August. Infact, some businesses have decided not to open until they start arriving. I would say that only about 50 percent of shops have opened in Palma despite the fact that they have been given the green light to do so by the central administration. They are all waiting for tourists to start arriving because as we know the lion´s share of shop sales in the city are to tourists.

A combination of high rents, staffing costs and a lack of shoppers has meant that many have found it cheaper to stay closed. This rather alarming state of affairs will have brought the message home to those who wanted a limit on the number of holidaymakers coming to the island. Palma needs tourists and it is clearly evident at the moment. If the city was split over cruise ships last year it is going to be more so this year with the added health and safety factor playing a key role.