Tourists in Playa de Palma, Mallorca. | M. À. Cañellas

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German tourists are cancelling weekend trips to the Balearic Islands because of the cost of mandatory PCR tests in both directions.

“These measures will cause a reduction in tourists from Thursday to Sunday and about 30% of flights are expected to be cancelled,” said German Tour Operators.

Families and couples will be the hardest hit, but those who book a package tour for more than a week might not mind paying extra for PCR tests," said a hotel chain spokesperson.

The flurry of cancellations has forced hoteliers to rethink their plans and some companies have already decided to open fewer hotels.

"We can’t work with so many changes and uncertainties, which also have a negative impact on the economy and jobs," said a hotel chains spokesperson. "Depending on how reservations evolve in the coming days we may have to group tourists in one or two hotels," said a hotel chains spokesperson.

Several hotels were scheduled to open on Thursday, but now everything is up in the air because the rules have changed once again.

"This will be the general trend until vaccinations are completed in all countries, they're very low at the moment, which worries the whole industry,” said a spokesperson for TUI, FTI, Alltours, Schauisland Reisen and DER Touristik.

Airlines

Tour Operators say the German Government has "told airlines not to allow people to board the plane without a negative PCR test," and warned them that there will be consequences if they don’t comply.

The new measures are scheduled to run from March 30-April 3, but may well be introduced on Sunday, March 28.

"We are facing a very volatile situation and this is a setback for tourism activity, which was just beginning to recover in Mallorca and that worries us. The joy didn’t last long but what happened is better than imposing quarantine,” said FEHM Executive Vice President, María José Aguiló. “Once again we are almost back at the starting box, without enough vaccines and depending on the variables related to tourism. This volatility could put us back in the same situation as last year by June or July if there are no vaccines.”

Aguiló said the management and control of the fourth wave in emitting markets will be crucial.

Some countries are already reorienting themselves towards domestic tourism to promote consumption in their own country,” she explained. “These problems are not solved by postponing trips, on the contrary they are aggravated by that because the Balearics need to be able to have a summer season.”

PCR Tests

The Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca says it has struck an agreement with the Balearic Union of Health Entities, whereby tourists can have a PCR test at a reasonable price and get their results within 24 hours.