An earlier start to the season this year. | PERE BOTA

A half of Majorca's hotels will be open by the end of the week as the Easter holidays approach. This level of opening activity is occurring almost a month earlier than in previous years, with the Majorca Hoteliers Federation suggesting that there will be 70% occupancy across the island, with the resorts varying between 60 and 70%.

Inmaculada Benito, the federation's president, acknowledges that the earlier Easter has brought the tourism season forward, with good prospects also for April and May. If this is the case, then this will represent something of a contrast with previous years when Easter offered an early peak in tourism activity only for it drop off until the end of May.

One consequence of the earlier season is that there is a greater level of employee contracting. Benito says that employees on "fijo discontinuo" contracts are the greatest beneficiaries, as they have been called back to work early. According to social security information, there were almost 20,000 fijo discontinuo employees actively employed in February. These represented 7,500 more than in January and 1,764 more than in February 2015, while by comparison with February 2014 there were more than 3,000 employees with this type of contract actively working. The earlier start to the season shows that the majority of employees who have fijo discontinuo contracts are working in the tourism sector.

A further positive sign is that there was an increase of over 13% in terms of the number of passengers passing through Palma's airport in February. The total of 709,000 was the highest in February for the past five years. February was thus the fourth consecutive month when there was a rise in winter traffic at the airport, the product of greater travel by Spaniards and international visitors, notably those from Germany.