Jack Ma's superyacht Zen off Andratx. Mallorca

Zen, Jack Ma's yacht, in the vicinity of Andratx.

19-10-2021Teresa Ayuga

Leaving on a jet ski

The last we saw of Elizabeth Debicki (Lady Diana), she was racing along on a jet ski off Sant Elm. What became of her? Had she been mistaken for a migrant? Had her jet ski collided with one from the Jet Raid world championship that was roaring past the Tramuntana coast? If so, had she been rescued by the yacht belonging to a secretive Chinese billionaire?

Almost certainly none of these. Netflix location filming for The Crown appeared to have come to an end. It was as well that it had. They could never be sure if a small boat from Algeria might suddenly come into camera view.

Tents in Son Tous

Last Sunday, the number of boats kept going up, and so headlines and copy had to be altered accordingly until it got to a point where we all lost track of how many there were.

Such was the number of migrants that temporary accommodation had to be arranged. Tents were put up in the grounds of the old Son Tous barracks in Palma. The guests didn't stay long, but the tents might come in handy again, if (when) there is a similar wave of small boats.

Finding Zen in Mallorca

Jack Ma wouldn't have had much need for a tent. Not when he has a superyacht at his disposal, which doubtless comes replete with jet ski. "Forced disappearance" is one explanation for Jack's low profile for the past several months, the Alibaba founder having found himself on the Chinese naughty step - the party hadn't taken kindly to some of his remarks. He and his yacht Zen were in Mallorcan waters, and he was spotted in Andratx, just a short jet ski ride away from Sant Elm.

Affordable housing for some

It was reported that almost 5,000 people in Mallorca were on the Ibavi housing agency's waiting list for social housing. While a spokesperson said that the goal of another 1,000 available properties was perfectly possible by the time the current government comes to an end in 2023, this was against the background of the genuine shortage of decent, affordable housing. What about the Son Tous tents?

On the same day as there was this report, another spoke of record luxury property sales in Mallorca - record sales to foreign buyers with their eyes on something between 600,000 and 2.8 million euros.

The contrast between these two reports couldn't have been lost on anyone.

Not the next wave?

"Small increases," said the health minister. Patricia Gómez attributed a rise in coronavirus cases to "celebrations", the rise having meant up to 75 on one day last week. There had been 45 on the Friday of the previous week, which had themselves represented a small increase.

The suggestion was duly made that another wave was on its way. But there were small decreases later in the week, so the wave was on hold. Hospitalisations, meanwhile, were coming down, as businesses on the island waited for tomorrow's latest restrictions announcement. There weren't that many left anyway, as Gómez noted.

Tourism - "gone well"

With the tourism season drawing to an end, assessments have been made as to how things have gone. To the mayor of Palma's view that it was "reasonably well" could be added the car-hire sector's conclusion. The season had "gone well", which sounded a touch more positive than José Hila's.

In general terms, all things considered, things have been reasonable, and the Balearics have been the national leader. September figures for international air passengers from the national tourism agency Turespaña revealed that five million had flown to Spain over the course of the month. Almost a quarter of these passengers had come to the Balearics.

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