HOTELIERS in Mallorca are pleading with the the government to reopen Son Sant Joan airport on July 1 in order to save some of the summer season.
Represented by the Association of Hotel Chains, business owners are now piling pressure onto the Government of the Balearic Islands to reactivate the tourism sector within two months.
They believe that setting a date to reopen the airport will push tour operators and airlines to start scheduling flights to Mallorca, which in turn would entice tourists to book holidays to the island.
This they claim would save at least half of a summer season and allow hoteliers to recover some of the money lost through the coronavirus crisis, as well as stimulating employment.
The association’s president Biel Llobera explained that the main European tour operators, such as TUI, are continuing to sell holiday packages to the Balearic Islands from July onwards and that it would be ‘catastrophic’ for the sector if these were cancelled.
He said: “Tour operators have told us that both Germans and Britons are still interested in travelling to the Balearic Islands this summer.”
However, Llobera stated that at this moment ‘we are running an enormous risk of losing a huge amount of loyal clients who may opt to travel to other Mediterranean destinations such as Greece,’ where the government is giving ‘great help to safeguard the country’s tourism sector.’
The association says that implementing health protocols at airports, such as health passports, temperature checks and rapid antibody tests, would be the most ‘sensible way’ to resume tourism.
This would also limit the risk of contagion from visitors to residents in the autonomous community.
Meanwhile, the Government of the Balearic Islands has revealed it is in discussions with German officials to resume flights to the region ‘as soon as possible.’
President Francina Armengol said that this is a ‘top priority’ for the government since Germans represent a significant monetary injection for the islands and without them, the ‘Balearic tourism will suffer an unprecedented blow.’
“We have to restore activity before anyone else because we depend on tourism more than any other territory in the country,” he said.
Armengol believes that Germany is a good place to start considering their achievements in controlling the spread of COVID-19, however the final say will be made by Pedro Sanchez’s central government.
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