Hipotels Playa de Palma Palace, where the first guests of 2022 have been arriving. | Pilar Pellicer

Hoteliers and unions in Mallorca are pointing to there being a nine-month tourism season. The opening of hotels in February will have a positive impact on both employment and the general economy.

The Mallorca Hoteliers Federation has announced that 26% of hotels affiliated to the federation will be open in February and that this will rise to 42% in March - 344 establishments with some 150,000 beds.

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Gabriel Escarrer, the CEO of Meliá Hotels International, observes that there is a clear objective - "being able to have a season as close as possible to nine months, which will benefit companies and workers".

The general secretary of the UGT-Services union in the Balearics, José García, confirms that there has been an increase in recruitment. "This will make this season as long as possible, with an addition in the number of employees with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts because of the approval of the labour reform."

While he accepts that the evolution of the pandemic could affect the situation between now and Easter, the hoteliers highlight another factor - Spain's requirement for UK children from the age of 12 to have Covid passport proof of double vaccination. Escarrer says that this is having a negative impact in the Canaries. However, he trusts that "this issue will be resolved and that it will not harm the Balearic Islands". "The rule has to change because it affects British family tourism."