Inma Benito, critical of town halls' delays. | Pere Bota

Delays to licences for building works issued by town halls mean that many hotels in tourist resorts which have been undergoing renovation will be unable to open by what is deemed to be the official first day of the tourism season, i.e. 1 May.

According to the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, obstacles at municipal level have been arising because of revisions to town halls' urban plans. These have led to delays in issuing licences. The federation's president, Inmaculada Benito, believes that a consequence could be that situations of "legal uncertainty" arise, which will benefit no one.

In Playa de Palma, the hoteliers' president, Francisco Marín, says that the area has been one of the hardest hit because of delays. "There has been no haste in granting licences, which has delayed the whole schedule for opening. Instead of 1 May, some of them won't open until the middle of the month."

The builders are also critical of the town halls. The director of the Balearic Constructors Association, Bartolomé Mayol, says that the licence delays meant that work started later than it should have. There are now tight deadlines to meet, requiring increased efforts by building companies in order to have work ready for the start of the season.

Between now and 1 May, work on hotels will be at the maximum possible, meaning that it will be going on seven days a week without breaks so that hotels are able to meet contractual agreements with tour operators. Mayol adds that if town halls continue to hinder work because of licence delays, then many businesses will have to reconsider projects for renovation on a grand scale. And this would have an impact on the construction industry.