Travel Agencies filing ERTEs in the Balearic Islands. | Pilar Pellicer


The coronavirus crisis has generated an avalanche of bankruptcy proceedings in the Tourism Sector in the Balearic Islands and Travel Agencies are particularly vulnerable.

Viajes Urbis, which is based in the Son Castelló Industrial Estate, is the first company to file a declaration of voluntary bankruptcy.

The Travel Agency has nine offices in Majorca, Ibiza, Barcelona, Benidorm, Malaga, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The company grew from 34 employees with a 5-million-euro turnover in 2003 to 56 staff and a 23 million in 2011.

In the last five years the loss of German and British Tour Operators has led to a progressive decrease in turnover at Viajes Urbis.

It's not the only Travel Agency in the Balearic Islands affected by a severe slump in revenue in recent months, the State of Emergency has economically paralysed every single one of them.

The President of the Balearic Travel Agency Association, or Aviba, Francesc Mulet, admits it’s a very difficult situation.

“Income is nil and expenses continue to rise so recovering all the money lost due to the coronavirus crisis will be very difficult in the Balearic Islands,” said Mulet.

The 100 companies that make up Aviba are doing zero business right now and many of the smaller companies are in danger of going under, but Mulet is hoping they'll get a last minute reprieve.

“We hope that the last four-months of the year can be saved, which will make it possible for Travel Agencies to generate some income, but everything depends on how the crisis evolves and whether the market recovers,” he said.

Income has been falling progressively since the end of February and the Tourism Sector is desperately trying to stay afloat.

“Getting business activity back to normal in the medium term would have a positive effect, but right now all Travel Agencies have been forced to carry out various ERTEs in order to be able to stay open in the long term,” said Aviba.