Norbert Fiebig, Chairman of the German Travel Association, or DRV, says Majorca is still a first choice destination for German tourists.
“The pandemic has caused quite a stir in the travel world. We are very happy with the opening of community borders, because activity will gradually increase and Majorca, which is the most popular holiday destination for Germans, is the first to be reactivated.”
He also points out that Government aid is essential to guarantee the future of the Travel Industry.
“The crisis hit Travel Agencies very hard and operators will have sales losses of around 20,000 million euros between mid-March and end of August,” he said. “The German Government has adopted numerous aid packages that provide support to the Tourism Sector, but the specific problems of the Travel Industry have not been adequately addressed. DRV is in intense talks with politicians to get the appropriate help because the future of 11,000 German Travel Agencies and 2,300 Tour Operators is at stake.”
Now that countries are beginning to open up, Fiebig says it’s extremely important to make sure that all the necessary protocols are in place to avoid a second wave of coronavirus.
He also insists that holidays must be marketed at a reasonable price and urges Majorca to rethink the Ecotax in the wake of the pandemic.
“Sustainability and ecology are subjects that have lost none of their importance,” he said. “Looking to the future, it is important to find a balance between ecology, economy and society. In Germany we see a growing interest in sustainable and ecological tourism products, but at the same time we think that after this crisis the institutions should examine and verify their effectiveness.
President Francina Armengol has refused to allow nightclubs in the Balearic Islands to open and Fiebig agrees with her ruling.
“Coronavirus has changed our whole life, both in regards to vacations and in daily life and protecting the mouth and nose and maintaining social distance and hygiene rules is normal now,” he says. “Larger events are not allowed yet and visiting bars and restaurants is only possible in Germany under certain conditions. People long for variety and relaxation on vacation but to avoid a second wave, it’s necessary to adhere to the security measures.
The Tourism Sector has been completely decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and Fiebig says 2020 is likely to be a very difficult year for some.
“The situation of Travel Agencies in Germany is really dramatic, they have basically been operating without revenue since early March and we need aid from the Government urgently otherwise there will be bankruptcies,” he says.
He predicts that this summer will be very different to previous years and that many people will holiday in their own country rather than travel abroad, but says German Tourists rank Majorca as a very safe destination.
“Psychologists say that in crisis situations people trust the familiar and Majorca is one of the most popular destinations that’s done its homework very well to make sure it’s a safe destination for Germans.
Norbert Fiebig also believes that Majorca’s Pilot Plan has been a massive success.
“The balance is positive because the anti-coronavirus protocols have been successfully tested,” he said.