'Mein Schiff 2' Cruise Ship.

'Mein Schiff 2' Cruise Ship. archive photo.

22-05-2021TUI

Cruise ships that only stop at ports in Spain have already been given the go ahead to stop in Mallorca and an announcement authorising International cruises to dock in the Balearic Islands and other Spanish ports from the end of June was on the Spanish Prime Minister’s agenda on Friday at Fitur. But Pedro Sanchez decided not to upstage the presentation of the Digital Green Certificate.

Cruise tourism is considered a strategic Sector because of its economic impact in places where the ships dock and the Balearic Government was deeply disappointed that the announcement was sidelined. It plans to appeal to Madrid over the coming weeks to allow cruise ships from foreign ports to dock in Mallorca, Minorca and Ibiza as soon as possible.

The Balearic Government has flatly refused to allow cruise ships since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has changed its mind now that the vaccination programme is moving forward.

The International Association of Cruise Lines in Spain, or CLIA and PIMEM were also eagerly awaiting yesterday’s announcement, particularly since competing countries such as Egypt, Greece and Turkey are monopolising all cruise stops in July and August.

CLIA-Spain Director, Alfredo Serrano, Balearic Government spokesperson and Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela and Director General of Tourism, Rosana Morillo held a meeting at Fitur in Madrid.

CLIA is confident that the Central Government will confirm in the next few days that International cruises can go ahead "because the shipping companies have adopted Covid protocols on ships."

"There is confidence in a forthcoming resumption of International cruises in a safe and gradual manner,” Minister Negueruela said after the meeting.

"The return of cruise tourism will be great news, because it will consolidate the reactivation of tourism and it's vital that they are allowed to come to the Islands,” added CAEB.

"We ask that cruise ships be explicitly activated, because it is a matter of returning to normality as soon as possible and it is a just and necessary demand,” said a spokesperson for the 'Sí als Creuers' platform.

CAEB, PIMEM, the Balearic Business Federation of Transport, Aviba and the Hotel Association of Palma-Cala Mayor showed their support for the Government's position before Madrid.

"Everything indicates that the first cruises from Mediterranean ports will arrive in Palma and Ibiza at the end of June,” said PIMEM President, Jordi Mora, “This tourism segment helps the reactivation of the entire value chain related to cruises, such as trade, taxis, restaurants, hotels and shipping and service companies."

Cruise tourism has a great impact on the hotel industry in Palma, especially if the cruises are based in the port. They can stay in boutique and urban hotels in the days before and after the cruise and enjoy the city and Mallorca,” explains Javier Vich, President of the Hotel Association of Palma & Cala Mayor.

“Everything points to the cruises arriving in the Mallorcan ports and it’s a tourist strategy that we support because it benefits our Sector, which has been inoperative for more than a year due to the pandemic,” said FEBT and Association of Discretionary Tourist Transport President, Rafael Roig. “We need activity and productivity.”

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