The Cabrera hostel opened in 2014. | Pere Bota

The old military buildings on the island of Cabrera were converted into a hostel, which was opened in time for Easter 2014. Since then, the number of stays has increased by over 22%, but the actual occupancy level remains fairly low. It was 45% last year, which equated to 2,216 overnight stays between April and October (the hostel is only open for seven months).

In 2014 there were 1,810 overnight stays, an occupancy of 37%. This fell to 1,591 in 2015 and then climbed to 1,937 in 2016. The regional environment ministry, which releases these figures, doesn't have exact information as to nationalities of people who stay at the hostel, but it indicates that around 80% of them are from the Balearics. The rest, generally speaking, are from Majorca's three largest tourism markets - the German, the British and the mainland Spanish.

The occupancy varies over the seven months. In July and August last year it reached 90% - almost 700 overnight stays. In April and October, respectively, there were just 64 and 54 stays. The hostel has twelve double rooms, so 24 places; cots or additional beds can be requested. Each room has its own bathroom. The building has a kitchen and a living-room. The price for a room in high season is 61 euros.

The government recognises that the hostel is underutilised. It is typically used by visitors to Cabrera who take the boat from Colonia Sant Jordi and opt to stay over for a night before returning. The government would clearly like to increase the occupancy, as it would probably like to increase the number of visitors to Cabrera. It is one of fifteen national parks in Spain and the only one in the Balearics. Figures from a few years ago showed that Cabrera attracted a mere 0.6% of the ten million or so people who visited all the national parks.