Hotel occupancy levels high in July. (Photo shows Palace de Muro Hotel, Playa de Muro.) | A.E.


Hotel occupancy levels
On Tuesday, we reported that the average hotel occupancy rate in the Balearics in July was 89.2%, the highest among the regions of Spain. These official government figures were confirmation of how good the summer has been, if only in occupancy terms. But as we all know, statistics are there to be doubted, just as there is doubt as to who it was who came up with the famous quote that expressed this doubt. By Friday, we were able to say that the Balearic tourism industry had enjoyed its best July for the past twenty years. Strangely though, the occupancy rate was being quoted as having been 85%. Still, what's the odd 4.2% when things are going so well? And goodness, how they were, what with tourist spending having risen by 14% (according to the statistics, that is).

Jet2 - 20% more clients for Majorca
Meanwhile, one of the providers of this buoyant market, Jet2holidays, was being represented in Palma by CEO, Steve Heapy. He informed a gathering of press, politicians and hoteliers that Jet2 will be increasing its UK client volume to Majorca by 20% next year, which no doubt had the statisticians already calculating the anticipated occupancy levels for July 2016. Although he said that he "would love to see Jet2 flying all year to Majorca in the mid term", he observed that the "commercial market" for December and January was "not there". On other topics, and the flavour of the moment, i.e. the tourist tax (some say eco-tax), he said that more taxes on tourism were not good for the industry or the destination and felt that such a tax would not help in promoting winter tourism or improving the summer season.

Magalluf, Arenal and police
Magalluf, seemingly better behaved this summer, nevertheless continues to attract a good deal of interest from the police (which may of course have something to do with the better behaviour) and from other agencies. On Thursday, we highlighted a major operation that had been undertaken which had involved different units of the Guardia Civil, Calvia police and government inspectors. The targets were varied - from restaurants and standards of hygiene (three restaurants have been closed) to counterfeit products and to the "alternative" clubs. In respect of the latter, the Guardia had performed over 100 interrogations related to possible human trafficking.

This information was interesting in light of what happened later in the week and which was reported on Saturday. The National Police had broken up one of the gangs involved in so-called prostitution in Arenal (all a front, as the report explained, for mugging drunk tourists). This was not the first time that gangs in Playa de Palma had been targeted, and the report did refer to Magalluf as well in the context of the Arenal operation. There are many who will be hoping that gangs in Magalluf and Santa Ponsa will now also become the target of major police action.

Jacqueline Tennant
The sadness surrounded the news about Jacqueline Tennant, who had gone missing in October 2007 while working for First Choice in Can Picafort. Human remains found on Sunday by a hiker in the Tramuntana were those of Jacqueline, the Guardia Civil said. Her sister, Monique, who has come to Majorca regularly in seeking to find the truth about what happened to Jacqueline, was not happy about media reports giving information when she and her family had not received any.  She said that until there were "conclusive reports" from the Guardia Civil, the family would not be giving up hope.

The most photographed
Finally, we discovered that beaches in the Balearics were the most photographed by users of the Hofmann digital album and that Puerto Pollensa's was the most snapped in the Balearics, closely followed by Puerto Alcudia's, with La Marina in Alcudia third. It was a strange report, given that there should be three beaches geographically close to each other in the top-three slots and no mention of any others. There again, Puerto Pollensa's pinewalk has long been an image captured by holiday snappers, while La Marina is where the kitesfurfers of Majorca congregate and provide some astonishing sights for photographers.