Workers want to come but it is too expensive. | Josep Bagur Gomila

All indications are that this year's tourism season in Mallorca and the Balearics will be excellent. But while tourist numbers could even pass previous records and jobs are plentiful, there are likely to be problems with filling vacancies. Business and unions agree as to the reasons - the price of accommodation and the difficulties with finding any.

Nuria Chardi, the director of the Adecco recruitment company in the Balearics, says that there are many workers who would like to come to the islands for the season but are being put off. "If they are not offered housing or help with it, they are turning down offers." She and union representatives recognise that some companies, hotel groups in particular, are making accommodation available, but José García of the UGT says that this is "insufficient" as not enough companies are doing so.

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The president of the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Carmen Planas, believes that the lack of affordable housing is one of the great problems in the Balearics and that it is "a situation that has worsened in recent years and affects the majority of the people of the islands".

"There is concern about the difficulties in filling all the vacancies, as this will harm businesses' productivity and the quality of tourist services. Sectors such as tourism are rethinking and housing workers in their own establishments. But it is a problem that goes beyond tourism. It affects all sectors and therefore requires a long-term solution. We need more housing, to grow in height, to reclassify land and to renovate obsolete buildings."

García points out that salaries aren't the issue, as they are among the highest in Spain. "Salaries in the hospitality industry are at the top in the country and will this year rise by 5%. But they are not enough to rent a flat. If the rent is around 1,000 euros and gross wages are around 2,000 euros, they are not enough."