Majorca will be packed out again this summer.


The Balearics can expect another summer of tourist "saturation". This is the view of both hoteliers and tour operators at the Madrid fair, who attribute this saturation to the availability of holiday rentals, which will nevertheless be meeting demand because hoteliers are saying that the Balearics are booked out in the summer.

Despite price increases of 10% or more, the hoteliers will be able to put up the no vacancies signs and register ever greater profits. Security issues elsewhere in the Mediterranean are still ensuring that the Balearics are a safe haven for tourists and indeed for tour operators.

The level of occupancy in summer, notes Melià's vice-president Gabriel Escarrer, will be difficult to increase because there isn't more capacity. He was echoing the words of Globalia's president Juan José Hidalgo: "For this summer, everything has been sold."

A consequence of demand for hotel places is that tourists will opt for illegal rentals, and it is these which the hoteliers blame for there being saturation and evidence of so-called "tourismphobia". Contrary to what is usually said, Escarrer observed that the hoteliers don't look upon rentals as competition. Hotels provide quality and experiences; they don't sell beds, which was his way of describing the rentals' offer. But because of this, the hoteliers are concerned about the damage that can be caused to the islands' image as well as by excessive numbers.

Aware of the high demand this summer, President Armengol has said that infrastructure will be able to deal with it. While last summer there were worries about water supplies, these shouldn't be an issue this year, thanks to the rain, repairs that have been made to the supply network and the desalination plants having been made fully operational.