Palma is facing an uncertain tourist season and Covid preparations are underway to make sure that "all the necessary health measures and protocols are in place," according to Tourism & Health Councillor, Elena Navarro, who insists that Balearic capital is a safe destination.
Around 20 percent of 42,000 hotel beds will be available at Easter, with 3,770 in the city and 4,700 in Playa de Palma.
“By the time Fitur takes place in May there will be more certainty about what the 2021 season will be like," says Councillor Navarro. “After the summer, congresses will be reactivated and we already have reservations for 2022."
Autumn overnight stays plummeted last year because of the pandemic.
“In 2019 we had 10 million overnight stays and last year we only had 1.5 million, which was a drop of 86%,” she said, but is confident that recovery will begin this year.
“The recent Virtual ITB fair was regarded with great optimism and a desire to be able to travel,” said Pedro Homar, Director of the Palma 365 Foundation. “We won’t reach the levels of 2019 and it will take years to return to those records. The fair has shown us many signs that tourist’s travel habits are changing and new competition from inland tourism has emerged. Germans, Danes and British are spending more time in their own countries, athough their infrastructures are not as prepared as ours,” adds Homar. “Turisme is committed to reinventing itself in secondary markets, with outdoor activities."
Homar warns that new advertising campaigns can no longer rely on price to entice tourists.
“Tourism now calls for less overcrowding, outdoor spaces and sustainability,” he says. “In 2021 holidays will be in safe small nuclei and this commitment to quality does not mean looking for high purchasing power, but rather for the most responsible and sustainable tourist, ecologically and socially. The pandemic will mean a better distribution of tourists and we have the technology and the tools. The Safe Beaches App helped us in 2020 and now we’re preparing a more ambitious alert plan for saturation."
Homar stresses that the objective is to decongest the centre of the Balearic capital.
"Capacity control has come to stay," he insists. “The agglomeration of tourists in certain areas of Palma will be a thing of the past."