British businesswoman Margaret Whittaker, had a letter printed on Tuesday’s front page claiming that she has been “barred” from entering Mallorca from Britain because of red tape. The owner of the House of Son Amar entertainment complex was scathing in her condemnation of various immigration departments - who she claims, have blocked her attempts to attend to her business commitments on the island. In her letter to the Bulletin editor, she said that the Spanish authorities demanded that she produced a letter from the British Embassy enabling her to attend to her many business priorities. However, Ms Whittaker wrote that the British Embassy had assured her that it was - “not within their power” to intervene in these matters, as it was “nothing to do with them.” It seems that someone in authority is not being entirely truthful in this matter.
It seems that the continuing row as to ‘All Inclusive’ holidays continues apace as the Emytra association of business people and workers in Calvia is kicking-back at AI’s - claiming that theirs is a formula based upon “corporate greed” as it does not encourage tourists to go to different establishments outside of hotels. Tellingly perhaps, the president of the association, one Diego Belmonte - has asked “Who is it that gets tourists drunk? If they do not leave hotels until midnight, is it our bars, or is it the all-inclusive.” Say’s it all really doesn’t it!
A premier prize
A good news story doing the rounds mid-week in the Bulletin was that of Watford F.C’s promotion from the English Championship back to the giddy heights of the Premier League. Why so? Well, Francisco Munoz their current manager, in from Manacor and was a former Real Mallorca player. With Watford infamous for hiring-and-firing managers on a regular basis, Señor Munoz seems to have brought a welcome stability to the club. A full interview with Franciso Munoz appears in today’s newspaper.
A timid approach
There was a very mixed reception from restauranteurs and those engaged in the hospitality industry at the easing of evening opening hours on terraces from Monday to Thursday nights. Various individual restaurants and associations claim the loosening of this and past time frames has done little to stimulate business for many in the industry. Indeed, many claim that it is hardly worthwhile opening if you have a small terrace and mock the concept of ‘shutting up shop’ at the weekends just as their potential clientele seek to dine out. Interestingly, some restauranteurs appear to be willing to work with the rules, whilst others are at best contemptuous of this timid so called ‘inch by inch’ approach to normality.
The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, was positive if just a little cagey as he met Balearic President Armengol this week. He said that the Balearics attempt to be judged separately from the rect of Spain regarding Covid-19 was “well founded” which in diplomatic speak was really quite positive. Nevertheless, the diplomat was very careful in the words he chose to use at the post meeting press conference. Phrases such as “good progress” and talk of “green lights” was followed by - “the need to be cautious” but the general mood seemed to be one of measured optimism. As time moves on, the date May 17th seems to be more-and-more central to what happens next in Balearic tourism. The very fact that the British Ambassador was visiting Palma and having discussions with the Balearic President and her tourism minister, perhaps spoke volumes for the efforts both countries are making to normalise the tourism situation between the United Kingdom and the Balearic Islands.