The great hope is for a lengthening of the tourism season. | Cati Cladera

A report from the Pimem federation for small to medium-sized businesses suggests that the increasing trend for last-minute reservations does not make it possible to foresee a lengthening of the tourism season in the Balearics. This last-minute trend is generating a great deal of uncertainty and doesn't give a clear view of what will happen next month, at Christmas or at Easter next year.

Tourism business companies in Mallorca were responsible for the report, which was presented on Friday. One revealed that while holiday bookings reached 50% of 2019 volume in July and August, profit was below this 50 per cent because of, for instance, shorter stays.

The CEO of the Dingus tourism technology company, Jaime Monsterrat, says that the forecasts for bookings until the end of the season are "following the same trend". They are around 50 or 60 per cent, but for the moment they do not lead to thoughts about a lengthening of the season.

Despite hopes for the national market in the Balearics this year, Juan Mateos, CEO of Juniper Innovating Travel Technology, observes that it has barely reached 10 per cent of sales by travel agencies. "They have chosen the mainland over the Balearic Islands." Even so, the weight of national tourism is said to have increased slightly compared with 2019.

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Director of sales, Carlos Feliu, adds that the Balearics are maintaining more restrictive Covid measures for children under 12 than the Canary Islands or the mainland. This may have affected the choice of holiday destination.

Couples, it was observed, have displaced family tourism. Seventy per cent of clients who have come to the Balearics have been couples. Their stays have been shorter than expected - five to seven nights, rather than more than eight nights, which would normally be the case.

BedsOnline highlighted the fact Mallorca has been losing some market share. The island leads with 44% of bookings, but the other islands have been gaining - Minorca 30 per cent, Ibiza 21 and Formentera five.

Most of the reservations in Mallorca have been for Palma (28 per cent), followed by Arenal, Puerto Alcudia, Cala Millor, Santa Ponsa and Playa de Palma, which range between five and seven per cent.

Looking ahead to next year, however, the outlook is "very good", as bookings are already 50 per cent of those for this summer.