Turkey, a competitor to Balearics tourism

Turkey, one of the competitors seeking an advantage.


There is more worrying news for the Balearic tourism industry. With the hotel sector calling for the vaccination programme to be urgently speeded up so the islands can be sold as a “safe destination”, competing destinations appear to be ahead of the game.

German and British tour operators have announced that Greece and Turkey will start the tourist season before the Balearics because their anti-COVID vaccination plans are more advanced and without so many problems.

TUI, Jet2, EasyJet Holidays, Alltours, FTI, Schauinsland and the rest of the tourist groups have set themselves the objective of being able to start their summer programming as soon as possible, but this will depend on the health evolution in their own countries and in popular holiday destinations. The Turkish and Greek governments have set June as a deadline by which the maximum percentage possible of the population needs to have been vaccinated in order to establish safe corridors with the main European source markets. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is all too aware that his tourism industry must be reactivated as soon as possible, was vaccinated last Thursday in Ankara.

Turkey has opted for the vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac (Coronavac) and is not dependent on the restrictions that Pfizer or Moderna currently impose on the European Union.

Greece is in its third week of vaccination and Athens wants to have 70% of its population immunized before the summer. The objective is to be able to offer the country as a safe holiday destination in the Mediterranean and compete with the Balearics and other tourist areas, such as Croatia and Malta.

The Croatian government will soon have available an amount of approximately €202 million to support companies of all sizes in the sectors of tourism and sports, including accommodation and restaurants, which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Commission has approved the amount for the Croatian state aid scheme to support the sectors of tourism and sports affected by the pandemic. Commenting on the decision to allocate this money to Croatia, the Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, noted that the pandemic has hit Croatian companies hard in the tourism and sports sectors.

The Balearic Minister for Tourism and Employment, Iago Negueruela, is aware that competing destinations are locked in a race to see who can open first. “We demand that the Spanish government complies with the vaccine supply plan and guarantees deadlines in order to reduce the epidemiological rate in the Balearic Islands and recover economic activity as soon as possible.”

The hotel employers, road transport companies, travel agencies, the hire car sector, restaurants, the complementary offer and airlines are asking for a safe framework and demand that the vaccination campaign be continuous, as we head towards the summer and seek not to lose a share of the market to Greece and Turkey. “Establishing safe corridors is the goal of the Balearic tourism sector and they must be achieved before summer.”

The main vaccines at the moment are those of Pfizer and Moderna, but soon Brussels will have to make agreements with other pharmaceutical companies that make anti-Covid vaccines, such as AstraZeneca, in order to speed up the programme.

Egypt is also working on a quick recovery. The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla has announced a reduction in aviation fuel prices as part of a government initiative to support the country’s tourism sector. In an official statement, El-Molla stated that the programme would cut aviation fuel prices to 15 cents per gallon, adding that it would go into effect “starting on 21 January until the end of the year”. “The initiative comes as part of the Egyptian government’s efforts to revive the country’s tourism and aviation sectors, which plunged following the outbreak of coronavirus.”

Egyptian Minister of Tourism Khaled El-Anany says that the move will increase tourist influx to Egypt through “stimulating international air carriers to increase the number of daily trips to Egypt’s tourist destinations; civil aviation activity has a direct impact on the Egyptian tourism sector”.


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John / Hace 11 months

I don't think that tourism will not be back this year maybe in 2022 if all goes well with covid19 injections if not forget tourism i think hotels should now be making plans for Easter 2022


James K / Hace 11 months

@GrahamJ - I’m afraid the reverse is true; short arms and no pockets at all. They won’t even have the eco tax to spend.


Steve, Son Maties / Hace 11 months

@Lisa. What does Mallorca being a "safe destination" mean, - simgle or zero new cases, - and safe for who? We had that in April last year and where has re-opening hotels got us. These are the steps we should take in my opinion : Close all frontiers until zero figures are reached, by one method or another, When Mallorca reaches that level, allow countries with equal status to visit, still with tests, for a three month trial. Gradually allow other countries to enter for a similar trial, again with tests.... An "open - close - shut" policy does nothing but harm, and effects the economy even worse.


Mark Badoer / Hace 11 months

@GrahamJ: I did not say Turkey is not a nice country. You may want to read properly before you react. I said I (and I know many others) who would not go to Turkey because of dictator Erdogan. I would not feel for one moment, plus I do not want 1 of my euros to go to support their economy. I wish you a great time in Turkey. .


Majorca fan / Hace 11 months

Old saying comes to mind if you can’t manage something big do something small in a big way. The U.K. has just past 4million vaccinated. The eu rate is pathetically slow in comparison confidence is Critical in getting 2021 season started. I have stated before that other regions will attract the U.K. business away from Majorca if the vaccine does not get established quickly .. I wish the good people of Majorca well and the eu needs to start tackling the big things and not concentrate on taking ham from polish truck drivers sandwiches. Priorities and people’s livelihoods are more important me thinks


Johny / Hace 11 months

There will not be any tourist season this year, dont let anybody fool you. The vaccination goes to slow and to be honest i dont think this goverment even care if the tourist season crashes this year


GrahamJ / Hace 11 months

This Government had better get both it's head out of the sand and it's finger out from elsewhere and get this situation sorted ( like as fast as the UK is doing ( some hope )) or Majorca can wave goodbye to the 2021 holiday season. If there is a whiff of being unsafe in Mallorca, then people will either go to where they consider it the safest option ( despite what MB says, and that's his PERSONAL opinion, Turkey DOES have some attractive places ) or stop in the UK as per 2020 and close to the NHS. Majorca NEEDS tourist Euros and now, for the sake of it's population who rely on it's tourist Euros for employment, then I am afraid there won't be a 2021 Season. Jet2 are wise enough to recognise this situation. It's about time that Armengol got her coat and let some other person take the helm who HAS the required vision. However, the season starts on 1st May 2021 which is just over 3 months away. I hope Armengol and her pals have long arms and deep pockets to support with funds for the population's sake as there will be plane spotters at Majorca's airport, but not a lot to spot


JR / Hace 11 months

I wonder why people would rush back to Mallorca with its sewers overflowing on the beach each year? I wonder why people would come back to rip off prices, low grade tourism, and now, the poor response to covid? This is the time to invest in infrastructure and reposition the tourist industry. Times have changed.


Yogi / Hace 11 months

Everyone is screaming Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! Oh, hold on. There’s only a smidge arriving every week so it’ll only go as fast as that, and they cannot even manage that. Change that to procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate.


Mark Badoer / Hace 11 months

Holidaying in Greece, I sort of get, but Turkey...... Just about every cel in my body would object going that country. Turkey should be economically isolated as long as Erdogan is in power there. And this is why Greece and Spain will remain popular, as I am not the only one thinking that.