Travel Agencies in the Balearic Islands have lost 95% of their income since the coronavirus pandemic began because restrictions in Spain and the rest of Europe brought the flow of foreign tourists to a complete standstill.
“Since March around 30% of agency branches have closed which has meant the destruction of 500 jobs in Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera,” said the President of the Association of Travel Agencies in the Balearic Islands, Francesc Mulet. “The situation is very delicate and the forecast for this year is not very positive; Easter is a total washout because of the viral situation in Europe and forecasts suggest that the summer season won’t begin until June."
Aviba says the Travel Agency Sector is going through a complete change because of the pandemic and the new processes that are taking place in the market.
"Receptive Agencies are already preparing EREs because tourist activity is not returning, so January, February and March will be very complicated for our Sector, with the closure of offices and branches and the destruction of even more jobs,” said Mulet.
He also points out that the emitting market from the Balearic Islands to the Iberian Peninsula and abroad is at a complete standstill and that the same is true of travel abroad.
“On top of all that the airlines haven’t paid for tickets sold since March which amounts to around 7 million euros,” he adds.
"130 Travel Agencies have put their employees in ERTE, many of them only operate in the mornings and the restrictions on flights to European countries leaves us with no turnover which exacerbates an already delicate economic situation," says Mulet.
Industry insiders believe the merger of the issuing divisions of Barceló Group, Ávoris, Globalia Group, Viajes Halcón and Travelplan will undoubtedly lead to more Travel Agency closures and that this process and others that are expected to materialise will lead to the restructuring of the entire Travel Agency Sector in the Balearic Islands.
“It’s a very complex situation because the measures adopted by the Government are insufficient, so our Sector needs direct aid. Going to the ICOs puts us even further in debt because we have to pay rent on premises that are inoperative and the Municipalities are still passing tax receipts as if we’re in a normal situation,” stresses Mulet, who warns that "if nothing changes in the short-medium term there will be widespread Travel Agency closures in all the Islands in 2021, which is very bad news from a business and employment point of view."