Gabriel Llobera, Bel Oliver and Maria Frontera at the meeting in Palma.

18-02-2019ACH

At a meeting of representatives of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation and the Association of Hotel Chains (ACH) on Monday, the announcement of the general election on 28 April was added to the list of tourism industry uncertainties. The others were the failure to pass the state budget, and the implications this has for mature resort investment and low-season employment incentives, the changing cycle of tourism demand, and of course Brexit.

The secretary of state for tourism, Bel Oliver, was invited to the meeting. She was unable to give much information other than to say that the government's contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit will be published before 5 March. Gabriel Llobera of the ACH was particularly concerned about the social security discounts for "fijo discontinuo" employees in the low season. He hopes that the government can pass a decree in order to ensure the continuance of this incentive. "It is a vital issue for maintaining employment," he said. Oliver noted that this is not a responsibility for the tourism ministry.

There were also worries about the airline industry. Llobera added that loss of air routes is the "worst news for the Balearics in a season when competition is making things more difficult". Mention was made of recent airline collapses, though in the case of Flybmi it did not fly to the Balearics or indeed to any airports in Spain. Germania routes are being picked up by other airlines.

Laudamotion, the Ryanair subsidiary, has announced five new Palma routes to Dresden, Erfurt, Rostock, Friedrichshafen and Nuremberg.