"A real blow for the Balearic economy," concluded the president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations with due understatement. Industrial language was on the lips of others in assessing the German decision. The 2020 season "will have very negative effects" for the Balearics, added Carmen Planas, as if we hadn't all figured that out for ourselves.
Committed to corridors
The national tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, in Majorca in order to join the King and Queen on their trip to Ibiza, said: "The decision to advise against travel, especially to Majorca, is something which concerns us because of the impact this has on the island's tourism and economic activity." It wasn't only of concern to the Spanish government, minister.
But where there's a safe corridor, there is always hope, and the minister added: "We believe that it is feasible to reactivate part of the remaining season. We are committed to safe corridors." Yes, the government may well have been committed. The trouble was that no one else was. Even the considerate Austrians and Swiss, who had kindly kept the corridors open, decided the time had come to slam them shut.
Avoid restrictions as much as possible
The European Commission attempted to launch a rescue bid. Travel restrictions cause "disruption" and should be "avoided as much as possible". But in the face of rising infection rates, European solidarity was ebbing away, while all the safe destination talk now seemed just that.
Avoid social contact as much as possible
The Balearic health minister, Patricia Gómez, was appealing to the citizens to avoid social contact as much as possible. This was hardly the stuff of safe destinations, and nor was her follow-up warning - more restrictions will be on their way. Even more cheery was the observation of her husband, Juli Fuster, the director-general of IB-Salut: if the citizens don't start acting more responsibly, a new confinement will be considered. Meanwhile, at national level, Dr. Fernando Simón admitted that things weren't going very well.
With President Armengol and Gómez having started the week by announcing "new measures", which more or less amounted to those that the national minister of health had provided the previous week, e.g. restrictions on smoking in open-air spaces, by the end of the week it seemed as if were being prepared for new, new measures. No, things weren't going very well at all.
Further to the German decision, the president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, Maria Frontera, estimated that German tourist arrivals would either be zero or few and far between. One report helpfully listed pretty much every resort area in Majorca and every hotel chain in somewhat indiscriminately intimating that the whole island was closing, when there were of course Spanish holidaymakers and there was also a different report which pointed out that German holidays for September weren't being cancelled. Was there still some hope?
The lost 100,000 million
But as if we really needed any reminding that there have been "negative effects" for the tourism and general economy, the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence revised its forecast for the loss it expects Spain's tourism industry to incur this year. What had been 83,134 million euros was now, on the back of decisions by the UK and German governments, 98,753 million.