The Ironman 70.3 triathlon, which should have been held in Puerto Alcudia next month, has been rescheduled for the end of October. There were some 4,000 entrants for the event, but there are doubts whether there will be the same number because of the postponement, as indeed there is a doubt whether it can go ahead even in October.
Ironman, first held in Alcudia in 2011, generates around ten million euros for the local economy and is representative of the growing importance of Alcudia as a destination for sports tourism. The councillor for tourism, Pep Cladera, says that it will be difficult to find new dates in the autumn for various events that have had to be called off. "But we will try to find alternatives in the hope that the season can be extended beyond October." Hotels which would normally close in October could therefore have a further month of business.
He recognises, though, that tourists from the main markets, such as the UK and Germany, may prefer to stay at home. "We are trying to be positive, but we are aware that things aren't going to be easy."
Alcudia's consortium for overseas promotion, a pioneer in terms of public-private cooperation, is not currently holding meetings. Cladera explains that "we have stopped everything and allocated all municipal resources to the pandemic". He adds that, once the confinement is lifted, the "most realistic thing" may be to open interior hotels first, as there will be less concentration of people. There are some ten interior hotels in Alcudia which, in all, has over 35,000 accommodation places.
As well as tourists being unable to come to Majorca by plane, there are the sea routes. In Alcudia's case these include the Corsica Ferries service from Toulon. Growth in passenger numbers at Alcudia's port last year was the highest in percentage terms at all ports in the Balearics. This was due to the Toulon service, for which there was going to be an increase in frequency this summer. Cladera says that the town hall doesn't know if it will operate.
"We'll have to get the hotels open first, hopeful that there can be flights and a good September."