Palma.—Question:How can it be that hotels are enjoying less occupancy than last year but a record number of people are passing through Palma airport?
Answer:Well according to the hoteliers it is because more people than ever are staying in so-called illegal holiday apartments and homes.
The hoteliers are already calling for a crackdown on holiday home owners who rent their properties out illegally during the summer months and these calls are expected to intensify as the hotel occupancy level continues to fall.
Majorcan hotels were 87 percent full in July (94 percent in June 2013), in August the figure is expected to stand at 82 percent (95 percent in 2013) in September 71 percent (88 percent in 2013) and in October 44 percent (63 percent in 2013).
The figures do not make good reading for the local hotel trade eventhough they say that the are making more money per room than last year.  But we do have a case of the missing tourist. So where are all these tourists who passed through Palma  airport but who are not staying in hotels? Well the answer appears to be the illegal holiday rent trade.
Now, the local minister for tourism, Jaime Martinez, remains upbeat  claiming that no-one can say that summer 2014 is a bad holiday season. Well the figures rather speak for themselves.
In Palmanova and Magalluf British tourism has fallen by about 2.7 percent which rather dispels claims of a flood in bookings since the infamous sex game video was  shown on social media. It had been claimed that there would be a massive increase in bookings to Magalluf among young people but this does not appear to be the case. Infact the reverse. Russian tourism to this area has fallen by a quarter, according to the hoteliers.
And it is not only the British and the Russians. The Playa de Palma, the popular resorts for German tourists, had a terrible start to the season in June and while the situation has improved marginally hotel occupancy in this area will be down on the year.