Mallorca boat and sea image.

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Kevin Costner's Waterworld imagined the Earth after the sea level had risen over 8,000 metres. The film was set in 2500, by when - with any luck - the sea level will actually have risen rather less dramatically. Even so, the potential exists for beaches to be saturated by the Mediterranean rather than by humans and so therefore a loss of land that would affect the regional financing.

Mindful perhaps of this climate change-inducing alteration to the financing equation, the Balearic government last week came up with a cunning new ruse. Look, it was saying to Madrid, there's all this sea. It may not be land and therefore included in the equation, but it should be. Add what equates to Balearic waters, and the region grows by 50%. So should the financing.

Having argued the case for additional financing because of overpopulation, the government was now wanting more for where isn't any population. Except of course, for what is literally a floating population - one on water rather than being temporarily on land. There are all those boats, the Balearics very own Waterworld.

Eliminating beds ...

Firmly on dry land, and ramifications of the Council of Mallorca's amended territorial plan were being made clear for two hotel projects. One in Cala San Vicente, the other near Es Trenc, they will definitely not now be going ahead. At a stroke, the plan had eliminated 2,374 hotel beds but had also spared developers something in the region of a million euros - the cost of all these beds being king size and elevatable.

... And the cost of beds

The Balearic government reckons that it will cost 60 million euros to replace 300,000 beds. A quarter of this will be available in subsidies, but these won't be enough, especially as the cost estimate is out by some 90 million. Bed manufacturers reckoned it will cost more like 150 million, while small hotels were worrying about how much it's all going to cost them. They were also wondering, as had we at the Bulletin a couple of weeks previously, what will happen to all the beds that need replacing. "No one has thought about that."

The tourism law in action

The small hotels were therefore highlighting the two big things of the government's planned tourism law - circularity and occupational injury. And in order for it to give added prominence to these two big things, the government took itself off to witness examples in action. Where better to go than to two Mallorcan multinationals with greater financial wherewithal than others to meet the demands of circularity and occupational injury prevention - the Camper footwear manufacturer and Meliá Hotels International.

Small print? What small print?

The opposition Partido Popular laid into the government over what it described as its "phantom" tourism law - four ideas and a title; that was all. The opposition and business were continuing to demand to see the small print, but it was becoming apparent that there wasn't any.

Had anything actually been drafted? Beds and circularity might have been overlooked, but small print for apartment holiday lets was claimed - they're going to be banned. Or were, before the government responded to a report to this effect by saying it had no intention of banning them.

A million on their way

With the government devoting its time to a tourism law that is tourism by association rather than tourism directly, those concerned with direct tourism were gearing themselves up for what was beginning to look like 2019 all over again, if not better. Jet2 announced that it will have seats for at least a million UK holidaymakers, the most ever and so therefore more than in 2019.

Amidst the latest tourist stats and daft headlines about soaring numbers (any numbers for 2021 were bound to have soared compared with 2020), there was a stat for the Balearics in December that was quite encouraging. The number of foreign tourists was only some 13,000 down on 2019. Yes, it was December and so no, there aren't huge numbers, but nevertheless it was perhaps an indication of the scale of recovery.

Moreover, December was Omicron time.

On their way out ...

They protested against the Covid passport again. But for how much longer will they need to and reveal that they are in fact continuing to bang on about vaccination? Protest aside, questions were being asked about the passport in the Balearics because other regions were abandoning it. And how effective, Omicron-wise, has it been anyway?

With daily new positive case numbers falling and therefore bringing the cumulative incidence rates down as well, the Spanish government - not responsible for how regional governments apply the passport - decided that the time had come to drop the need for masks outdoors.

It was all a bit peculiar. On Wednesday, the health minister was defending the December decree that reintroduced the requirement, and Congress ratified the decree. On Friday, she said there'll be another decree - one next week to get rid of it.

And finally, all else last week was put into the shade by one person. Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open, and Mallorca went bonkers.