Rafael Roig, president of discretionary transport, and the president of Confebus, Rafael Barbadillo. | Pere Bota

The Association of Discretionary Transport of the Balearic Islands (FEBT), fears another summer season marked by the impact of the coronavirus, even more so now that the omicron variant has caused greater restrictions in the main European tourist markets for the Islands. The employers' association, chaired by Rafael Roig, held its general assembly this yesterday in Palma to address the problems of the tourist transport sector, which was attended by the president of the Spanish Confederation of Bus Transport (Confebus), Rafael Barbadillo.

Roig, at the end of the assembly, said: "The cancellation of the ITB Berlin for the second consecutive year is a bad sign for tourism, hence we fear another summer season under the impact of the variants of the COVID, in this case the omicron". Barbadillo pointed out that the "sixth wave of the coronavirus spoils all business forecasts, hence our sector is immersed in great uncertainty and there are companies that will have serious difficulties to survive in this adverse situation”.

The assembly was followed by a lunch attended by the President of the Government, Francina Armengol, and the Minister of Mobility, Josep Marí. Roig took advantage of his presence to show the level of business concern and told the president how badly the sector is suffering: "It is urgent to count on the Administration to compensate the increase in costs with fiscal aid and public incentives," he said. Roig asked, given the liquidity problems of some companies, that the lack of ICO credits be extended until the end of 2022: "Companies cannot assume increases of up to 40% of costs and need more time".