The German government's decision is a hammer blow.

16-08-2020

Business leaders in the Balearics are unanimous in their reaction to the German government's decision to classify the islands as a risk area and to advise against travel.

For Carmen Planas, president of the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, the decision is "a real blow to the Balearic economy". With hotel occupancy in July having been around 35%, the expectation for August is that it will be lower still. The 2020 season "will have very negative effects" for the Balearics, so Planas wants the government to "urgently draw up a public-private health and economic strategy so that the Balearic Islands can once again be a safe destination".

Jordi Mora, president of the Pimem small to medium-sized businesses federation, believes that the decision marks "the end of the season". "We started well with the pilot plan, but the negative news on the evolution of the pandemic week after week has hurt us. Everything has been disrupted because of the outbreaks."

Calling for individual and collective responsibility to prevent the virus spreading further, Mora argues that "we have been unable to adapt to the new reality and we will pay the consequences". He foresees further closure of businesses and the consequent loss of jobs.

The president of the Acotur tourist businesses association, Pepe Tirado, says that "the season is lost". "Germany's decision is the final blow. In a week we will be in ICU. They have eliminated us from the market, and tourists will choose other destinations." Tirado attributes what has happened to "mismanagement" and is calling for an emergency plan to prevent total ruin of the tourist trade.

Joan Miquel Ferrer, vice-president of the CAEB restaurants association, has criticised the government for "not explaining and defining the data in order to reassure the tourism markets". "For example, it would have been appropriate to divide the region by islands and to advise that the situation is not the same in all of them. They will now all pay."

There should have been more forceful action to counter non-compliance with the regulations, and Ferrer points to positive cases among street sellers and young people who have taken part in street drinking parties.

Jesús Sánchez of the Abone nightlife businesses association accepts that two and a half months ago "we didn't even expect that there would be a tourism season". The success of the pilot plan in June offered hope, but now the virus has come back.

He was sceptical of the government's health measures. "I know it's easy to say now, but given the situation it seems that the right decisions were not made. I don't even want to imagine what the winter will be like."

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Harry / Hace 9 months

Lisa, the begging bowl has been out for some time now and the beggars have been told to wait in line.

+2-

Simon / Hace 9 months

Completely mismanaged by the local governments and appalling behaviour by local people. Shame on you Majorca.

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Lisa / Hace 9 months

“The right decisions were not made”. There’s an understatement if ever I heard it. Suicidal I’d say.

And winter? Too hideous to contemplate. Better get the begging bowl out for Europe. It’s too scary to contemplate.

And why? Perhaps allowing the flights to come in from Covid hotspots on the in mainland, with no checks had something to do with it???

Go figure :(

+12-

David Denham / Hace 9 months

It's an easy solution just stop testing and publishing results, just have more summer flu instead. Problem solved.

+-3-

Owen / Hace 9 months

The borders should never have been opened for tourism this year anyway. The Balearic government even allowed tourists to go mask free on the beaches whilst telling locals that we must wear masks in the streets. We only had this, and now a smoking ban after we were flooded with tourists. Spain needs to use the 140 billion of eu money to help small businesses and workers who suffer from the closure of the tourism sector. Mind you, thats probably why the spanish haven't refused tourists entry, this way they arent financially responsible because they haven't refused tourists and have waited until countries tell their citizens not to come.

+0-