The 'Kegelclubs' have returned to Playa de Palma. | Archive

The Palma-Cala Major and Playa de Palma hotelier associations are saying that no hotels will close this month. This is thanks to the comparative "normalisation" of UK and German bookings.

Javier Vich, president of the Palma-Cala Major association, says that bookings are being made three to five days in advance. Consequently, there is a high degree of uncertainty. Nevertheless, the forecast is that hotels in the historic centre will have average occupancy of 80%. "The situation is improving from week to week, but there is still great volatility with bookings."

All seventy-two establishments will be staying open in September and October. Despite the volatility, Vich suggests that there is good demand from the main markets, e.g. French, Scandinavian and Spanish as well as British and German.

The president of the Playa de Palma association, Isabel Vidal, says that occupancy will be very similar to that of August. Depending on hotel, it will be between 55% and around 80%. For her, "the most positive thing" is that no changes are anticipated this month in German and UK travel policies. This gives employers some "peace of mind". In Playa de Palma, 98 hotels are operating; they have a total of over 30,000 beds.

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Vidal reiterates what is being said of holiday bookings for the whole of Mallorca. Last-minute sales are dominating. "We have to get used to this holiday market dynamic." For September, the recovery of markets is very important, as are all the "seasonally adjusted tourist products", such as cycling, nautical and active tourism.

Returning to Playa de Palma are the 'Kegelclubs' (Kegel is German for skittle). Vidal explains that this is a segment of the tourist market that is very different to that of July and August. "They come to have fun in a different way. Moreover, they have greater purchasing power, and this is beneficial for the complementary sector (bars, restaurants, etc.)."

The view of both associations is that there is some degree of normalisation but that it is still far from what it was in 2019 in terms of business volume. The most important thing is that there is improvement, while everything indicates that the European tourism market will consolidate over the low season.

According to the Aena airports authority, Son Sant Joan Airport will handle over 2.5 million passengers in September and some 22,000 flights. It will be a key month for the hoteliers.