08-07-2016

As British tourists are finding to their cost, the pound's exchange rate with the euro has slumped significantly since the referendum result was announced. At its lowest level for 30 years, the slump is having an impact on resorts with high dependence on British visitors, such as Magalluf.

The businesses which seem to be being affected more than others include currency exchange bureau, stores selling alcohol and tobacconists. Toni Mayol, who runs a bureau on the Avenida Magalluf, says that the effect of Brexit has been disastrous. "The fall in turnover is massive. There are 70% fewer tourists coming to change their money, while those who are changing it only want minimum amounts."

The day before Brexit, the pound was worth 1.26 euros. By the weekend it was down to 1.13 euros. A further decline that might see parity with the euro cannot be ruled out.

Harry Gregory, a Magalluf resident who works for a travel agency and with the sale of excursions, explains that for him, when he goes to Britain, there will be a benefit. "But for the British here, the fall in the value of the pound is bad. And it's bad both for them and for us. Fewer euros to the pound means spending less."

This said, in other resorts with high numbers of British tourists, such as Alcudia, local bars are still reporting brisk trade. For tobacconists, while there may be some drop in the volume of purchasing, the prices here are still very favourable compared to those in the UK. Tobacco is, for many tourists, one of their major items of expenditure.

Excursions which were pre-booked via the internet prior to Brexit will not be affected, though payment for them in-resort may be influenced by the drop in the pound's value. And there is always the tourist tax to factor in: the timing of its introduction couldn't have been much worse where the British traveller is concerned.

To this end, the national hoteliers federation CEHAT and the Exceltur alliance for touristic excellence have both pleaded with the Balearic government to postpone the tax, despite it having been introduced. At a meeting which included Pilar Carbonell, the regional director-general for tourism, this request was made. Carbonell noted it but thought that it would be impossible to postpone the tax.

As has been remarked several times, actual holidays are unlikely to be affected by either Brexit or the tax, given that they have been booked in advance and paid for. However, and while there isn't an abundance of late offers for the summer, British tourists may well think twice about booking later in the season.

The tourist industry is especially concerned about Minorca. Sixty per cent of that island's tourists are British, and Minorca is highly vulnerable because there isn't the diversity of air routes that Palma has. Juan Molas, the president of CEHAT, says that it would be a special gesture if the tax could be put on hold and particularly for Minorca.

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Simon Tow / Hace over 4 years

Wolfgang is Austrian. A compatriot of his started it.

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Tim / Hace over 4 years

This Wolfgang fell sounds like a German and as they lost the war they could not come to Britain so they had to be satisfied with Majorca and again British people have stopped them coming here so I think it's sour grapes myself ?...

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Simon Tow / Hace over 4 years

Good afternoon Wolfgang, may I say what a pleasure it is to correspond with someone as civilised, well mannered and educated as yourself. As you are obviously keen to learn more about the world around you, especially Mallorca, please find just a few of the links available about birds and birdwatching in Mallorca. Enjoy !! Kind regards http://www.mallorcabirdwatching.com/

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Wolfgang / Hace over 4 years

Hi Simon Towrag. Let me first say that Mallorca is a desert for bird watching, there is nothing here, so if your mates come here, they are complete losers and are not skint without reason. We dont want your tight mates here even if they are educated. We neec people who stay at 5* hotels and blow £5k+ on a weeks holiday. There are loads of people out there who do. Everyone else can bugger off to Greece and Portugal!

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Simon Tow / Hace over 4 years

Hi Wolfgang, I´m still waiting for your explanation about how one is classified as a "higher spending tourist". I am thinking about inviting some friends over and need to know before they book their 25 euro tickets. Thanks.

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Simon Tow / Hace over 4 years

Mike, this Simon fella didn´t state the fact that they went to university over 40 years ago and that 3 of them got grants after getting excellent results in, what were then, state schools. Neither did he mention the tax which they will gladly pay, esecially if the breeding grounds of the Voltor Negre are looked after. The point I was trying to make, obviously unsuccessfully, was that they presumably would not be considered as "high spenders" ( Wolfgang´s term, not mine ). I will know when he describes the algorithm that works it out. Cheers.

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Mike / Hace over 4 years

This Simon fella is a bit of a card, eh?

His "friends" could afford the price of an exceptional Oxbridge education, but can't afford a Euro a night to birdwatch on this island?

Yeah, right.

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Simon Tow / Hace over 4 years

Wolfgang, Firstly, I would appreciate that you didn´t quote things that I supposedly said. such as that I think that the tax is bad. Not agreeing with it doesn´t necessarily mean that I think it is bad. My opinion is and will be that it will never solve the "overcrowding" problem. Or do you think that for the sake of one or two euros, eastern europenas will stop going to Venice ? And when does a tourist classify as being a "higher spending" one ?. 100 euros a day ? 300 euros a day ? 1.000 euros a day ? Please clarify. For your information I have several highly intelligent birdwatching friends, some of whom studied at Oxford and Cambridge, but due to personal circumstances, some of them need to watch the pennies. Should they no longer be welcome as their budgets are below the median ?. And secondly, I can assure you that I am not sitting in my holiday home complaing about the tax, but continuing to contribute directly and indirectly to the islands economy, something that I have been doing for several years, and would suspect that in the long term, I have contributed quite a lot more than you. By the way, a Catalan tourist has made a formal complaint about the tax, citing that he does not believe the Spaniards should pay in their own country. He would make an ideal Brexit voter..

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Mike / Hace over 4 years

Well said Wolfgang.

The Brexiteers want out of Europe but want to retain the right to trash this island whenever they want. After all, they paying a Euro a night now for that privilege.

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Wolfgang / Hace over 4 years

Holiday Maker & Simon Tow. You seem to think that the tax is bad and that the more tourists to Mallorca the better. But that is rubbish. Venice has a real problem with eastern europeans visiting with packed lunches and spending nothing. With flights from the UK to Palma as low as €25, then there is a similar problem. We need less tourists but higher spending ones. How can you both be so hypocritical? The sole reason the UK quit Europe was because too many people came in to the country. Now you sit there with your holiday homes, contributing very little and say that Mallorca should let everyone in. You couldnt make it up!

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