The Abactur association of tourist activities comprises thirty businesses which employ some 35,000 people. These activities are the islands' attractions, the basis of the tourist excursions market.
Closed since October, the expectation is that none will reopen until May at the earliest. Abactur president, Roberto Darias, notes that only Marineland has been operating at weekends and on public holidays. Otherwise, businesses are hoping that in May there could be some tourists and they will be able to bring back their employees. Or June may be more likely. Darias says that it will all depend on how vaccination programmes go in supplier tourism markets. "It's very difficult to plan for the future. It is one thing what we would like to do; the reality of things being imposed is another."
The closure of the attractions has had a direct impact on coach operators. At present, around 1,200 coaches are not moving, but if the attractions do open, "it will be great news," says the president of the Balearic Transport Federation, Rafael Roig. "It will benefit the whole tourism value chain and signify that we are returning to normality. We hope the predictions will be fulfilled, but at present no one knows when the tourism season is going to start."
Abactur says that all attractions have complied with all the health protocols. "All we're missing are the tourists to allow us to get going on. The situation is concerning, though, as the outlook isn't very clear. But we are hoping that there will be a season."
The Caves of Drach are one of Mallorca's principal tourist attractions. Manager Matías Servera says that the caves have been closed for the first time since the Civil War. Some eighty employees have been placed on ERTE, Servera explaining that they hope to be able to open in May but accepting that this will depend on developments in the supplier tourism markets and on the pandemic. "Right now, it's almost impossible to say. Not even the tour operators know with any certainty."
Caves of Drach typically attract some 600,000 visitors a year. Last year, the number was down 80%. Servera states that "we are prepared to open as soon as the situation normalises and we can bring back our employees from ERTE and offer this wonder to residents and visitors".