Souvenir shops in Playa de Palma, Mallorca. | M. À. Cañellas

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Souvenir shops in Playa de Palma and s’Arenal are facing a bleak summer season.

They claim the 3,000 euro one-off state aid payment they received from the recovery fund last week is just not enough. and are estimating turnover losses of 60-70%.

"A lot of shops are open, but we're only making 40% of what we made in 2019," says National Association of Tourism & Souvenirs President, Joan Pere Canals. “The need to sell surplus stock from 2020 has forced some people with more than one shop to close premises and others are extending their opening hours or modifying their businesses for next year.

Emilio Sanz, who runs a combined souvenir shop and grocery store has decided not to sell alcohol next season.

“The Government has forces these type of businesses in beach areas to close at 21:30. which curtails business at the busiest time of the day,” he said.

Kike Carmona and Johnnatan Serrano, who manage several businesses in Playa de Palma, agree with Emilio.

“People usually buy items at night when they go out to dinner or to hotels in the area, but everything is closed and turnover in Playa de Palma is less than half of what it was in 2019.

Customers

Business owners also claim that although there’s plenty of German and Dutch tourists, it’s a much younger crowd with less money to spend.

"They pay more attention to the price of items; our turnover is less than 40%, but we are trying to hold on,” says souvenir shop owner, Paula González.

“These last few months have been difficult and we are only surviving because we sell alcohol,” admits Grocery Store employee, Paewinder Singh.

There are around 250 bars, souvenir shops, tourism businesses and supermarkets in s’Arenal and for many of them forking out for bills and company expenses is becoming a struggle.

“Takings are a significantly lower than they were two years ago," says Kike Carmone. “We only open to make enough money to cover company expenses, we're not expecting to make a profit.”