The SOS Turismo banners and posters are all around. On buildings, in the windows of cars, the cry for help is unavoidable, especially when you live right slap-bang in hardcore Mallorcan resort land, observe and know at first-hand. It was bad enough last summer. A bar would reopen; three weeks later it would shut.
Such and such a hotel was going to reopen, and then it didn’t. There was no point. The heart and soul were sucked out of Alcudia, but at least there was the hope for this year. There still is. But in the meantime, the hope is diminished by the fact that no one knows.
The banners and posters provide a sense of solidarity. What more do they really achieve? This isn’t a criticism. Quite the opposite. I get it completely. But where is the help in response to the SOS?
Last week, the Spanish government announced a package of 11,000 million euros for tourism - for hotels, bars, etc. “We not only want to save companies, but to strengthen them.” The words of the prime minister. But there was no detail about this aid. There still hasn’t been.
Rather than new direct aid, it is believed that this package will be for writing off loans that have already been made under guarantee and for some sort of recapitalisation fund for small to medium-sized businesses. The details have yet to be announced because they haven’t been finalised.
The SOS will continue. For some, the response will be too late, if it isn’t already.