The Santa Clara Urban Hotel & Spa, one of Palma's boutique hotels. | El Economico


City hotels in Palma are set to record their best ever year in terms of occupancy, employment, prices (upwards) and profit. This is all due to the tourism boom, of which much has been spoken, the quality of accommodation on offer and changes to services to be found in the city centre.

Javier Vich, the president of the Palma and Cala Major hoteliers association, says that the situation is positive in many ways. Improvements to the urban environment are meaning that visitors are no longer presented with areas that might previously have been considered less than safe. In addition, there has been the construction of boutique hotels, which have transformed the accommodation offer and are now among hotels with the highest level of demand in Europe. Occupancy, therefore, has never been greater.

Vich adds that investment in past ten years has been in the region of 200 million euros. This has gone towards the establishment of four and five star hotels, and these have contributed to improved employment conditions. Some 70% of hotel workers are on full-time or "fijo discontinuo" contracts, while 90% of hotels are open all year.

During the first quarter of the year, there was an increase of almost 11% in jobs in Palma's accommodation sector. And the nature of the tourism coming into the city because of this new type of hotel accommodation is, as Vich points out, having a beneficial effect. "It has high purchasing power and so has a knock-on benefit for bars, restaurants and shops of all sizes."

The principal markets being attracted to Palma are the British, Germans, Swedish, French, Swiss and mainland Spanish.