The first tourists of the new normal
The new normal dawned and it felt remarkably similar to how things had been under the old abnormal just the day before. There was one big difference though. Tourists were no longer pilots; they were the real thing. Mobility within Spain had been restored, and the borders had been flung open.
The first foreign tourists arrived. They were all German. They were smartly but casually dressed. And they all got together in an Iberostar hotel in Playa de Palma. German tourism leaders had landed, and a few days later there were some prominent national tourists. Two of them: the King and the Queen. They were also in Playa de Palma, where they certainly weren't about to encounter any rowdy goings-on at clubs, as the Balearic government had banned them from opening.
Parties on the streets
Certain tourist offers and activities will continue to be clamped down on, insisted the tourism minister. These certain offers and activities don't help with health controls and they are in any event contrary to the tourism of excesses decree, he stated. It could have been seen a mile off that the government would use Covid reinforcement for its decree, and so the government had. With prohibition in specific zones (Magalluf, Playa de Palma) and otherwise restrictions on clubs, the nightlife sector, its collective nose firmly out of joint (and with justification), said that it could have seen street raves and parties coming a mile off.
In Ciutadella, meanwhile, some citizens failed to appreciate that the Sant Joan Fiestas had been cancelled. Crowds gathered, masks were in limited supply, a new normal 1.5 metre distancing was not being observed. The police copped some flak for there having been crowds, and the police were outraged at being blamed. They had warned the town hall and the national government delegation about what might happen if there weren't police reinforcements.
The German tourism leader foreign tourists and the royal national tourists conveyed precisely the sort of image that Majorca was desiring - and indeed had been pre-Covid. Firmly in the quality sector of tourism, respectful of sustainability, and so on and so forth, but did they actually spend any money?
Still, they were good for promotional purposes, as had been the pilot tourists. The government reckoned that the pilots had been worth the equivalent of 35 million euros in reaching an audience of 58 million people in Germany and the UK, plus how many more in other countries, because of all the media coverage
The Council of Majorca and Palma 365, unaware of the value of all this free publicity, had already co-opted Rafa Nadal and got him to appear in a short promotional ad. Not, it had to be said, that it looked as if they'd pushed the boat out, and this included not featuring Nadal's new boat. The last time he did a tourism promotion ad, he'd been on the old boat.
Final appearance, or ... ?
Pedro Sánchez had signalled the arrival of the new normal by saying that he was proud of what had been achieved and that he would be making his final appearance. This wasn't a final appearance ever, only the final appearance of a state of alarm nature.
By Tuesday, however, the possibility of his having to relaunch his appearances had emerged when the deputy prime minister said that the government was considering reactivating the state of alarm if new outbreaks got out of control. A short time later, and the government spokesperson had to clarify that there was no intention of bringing a state of alarm back either in the short or medium term. She didn't mention the long term.
The Juniper Serra debate
It was only to have been expected that once statues of Juniper Serra in California had been targets, statues in Majorca would also be vulnerable. The graffiti on the statue in Palma - "racist" - was soon cleaned off, while the debate about the saint, not a new one it has to be said, was given a full airing.
The Arca heritage association condemned the vandalism and rejected attempts to impose "supposedly emancipatory ideologies". Only from "civilisation, consensus and dialogue" will progress be made to "a cultured society that is free of prejudice". The debate will continue.
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