The Soller train - a tourist attraction for decades in Mallorca. | Archive


The current uncertainties regarding tourism have forced the 35 businesses that comprise the Abactur association of tourist activities to postpone their opening from May to June, a decision that has an impact on travel agencies and coach operators.

The president of Abactur, Roberto Darias, says that there had seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel that would have allowed opening in May, but the doubts about the main tourist markets (Germany and UK) as well as about what will happen after Easter have obliged businesses to delay opening, "much to our regret".

Among the attractions which are affected are the Caves of Drach, Palma Aquarium and the Soller train. City Sightseeing in Palma have halted the acquisition of more buses and will rely on the three for the time being.

The attractions provide work for some 35,000 people, while their activities are clearly important for travel agencies and excursions and coach operators. Having been closed for several months and now looking at a June start, there is an additional concern - the ERTE furlough scheme. This is currently due to finish on May 31. Darias explains that this would oblige businesses to reincorporate employees whether there is tourist activity or not. The Spanish government has signalled its intention to extend the scheme further, but there is nothing definite as yet.

Abactur's hope is that from June there can be progressive opening, with the objective of achieving 50% of the turnover in 2019. In order to get to this figure, Darias adds that businesses will be prepared to stay open longer than they normally would.