Tourists sitting on a terrace. | Josep Bagur Gomila


It is very difficult to judge just how well this holiday season is going. Some leading hoteliers have advised people to put the champagne on ice for the time being because, according to industry sources, bookings from key markets have taken a dip over the past few weeks as the worsening cost of living crisis continues to bite as many countries slide into recession. I have never seen so many adverts for special holiday offers and last minute summer bookings on British TV in my life. One leading tour operator is offering 50% off top destinations like Mallorca.

What is also interesting is that not only are non-resort restaurants complaining of a 20% fall in revenue, Palma does not seem all that buoyant either. Yes, it’s busy on the weekends, and so it should be at the end of June.

But extremely popular and well known restaurants in Santa Catalina, for example, are closed during the week. That is unheard of for this time of year. Operating costs have obviously risen and there is a shortage of experienced staff, but if restaurants are not going to open, covering those costs are going to be even harder - surely as we near the very peak of the season it has to be worth establishments being open all week. That said, opening involves paying staff and if the money is not coming in, restaurants are having to operate on very slim margins, especially if they do not want to dump the weight of the rise in operating costs and the price of produce on to the clients. To a certain extent it is a Catch 22 situation. The top end of the holiday market is booming, but it appears that the bulk of the market is struggling or not spending, with more and more hotels going all inclusive to meet mounting demand.