Thousands of students from France, Germany and Italy visit Majorca between March and June. | Ultima Hora

The French Ministry of Education has slapped a ban on all school trips abroad which means 4,000 French students who were supposed to travel to the island won’t be coming after all.

The Director of Receptive & Contracting of Viajes Adramar, Mateo Cortés is furious about the decision.

“The French Government has ruined all the work that’s been scheduled for months and unless otherwise indicated, 4,000 students will not be allowed to travel Majorca, between March and June.”

These cancellations spell disaster for hundreds of businesses on the island.

“Shipping companies, hoteliers and catering in Playa de Palma and Palmanova-Magaluf will be the most affected by this decision,” says Mateo Cortés.

France is also cancelling trips to other European destinations because of the Covid-19 virus, according to Aviba travel agencies.

Airlines and hoteliers

The increasing number of people cancelling trips to Majorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands is also having a huge impact on airlines.

Bookings to the Balearics have slumped by 30% from the Peninsula and by 70% from other European destinations.

“The situation is very complicated and already exceeds the worst forecasts. Contingency plans are in place until May in the hope that the situation will change by then and the summer season can be saved. If not, flights will have to be cancelled to minimise operating costs and avoid even greater evils,” said a spokesperson for the airlines.

The Consell Assessor of the Mallorca Tourism Foundation is organising working days with tour operators from Germany, the UK and other issuing markets, "to try to save the summer season," said the President of the Consell, Catalina Cladera.

“Promotional campaigns will be carried out in these countries to launch the message that we are a safe destination, hence we want to convey maximum peace of mind," said the Minister of Island Tourism, Andreu Serra.

"The crisis is being managed optimally, but nobody can hide that the fact that more reservations are being cancelled,” said the Vice President of FEHM, María José Aguiló.

Hoteliers, transporters and distributors of food and beverages are deeply concerned, but say they're trying to stay optimistic.

“The forecasts for March and Easter are very negative, but we are confident that the situation will change before summer and economic losses can minimised,” said representatives of FEHM, FEBT & Restoration.

Hoteliers from Capdepera, Cala Millor, Platja de Palma, Alcúdia and Calvià all say reservations are down by as much as 70% compared to this time last year.

"This crisis surpasses us all and nobody knows when it will end," they said.