Magaluf hotels to stay closed until Brits come back – as island begs for tourist flights to restart ASAP

HOTELS in Magaluf and Palma Nova will not open on May 11 despite being allowed to do so by the Spanish Government because of the lack of British tourists.

The islands are calling for flights to resume, deeming the opening of resorts "impossible" without them.

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The Spanish Government has given no indication as to when airports and
ports will reopen but has indicated local travel will be allowed
first, followed by national and then international.

There is no timescale yet for the return of Brits but this market is widely tipped to be last on the list and possibly not under the end of 2020.

The Balearic Islands president Francina Armengol said in a video conference: "We need to open the Balearic airports as quickly as possible but as long as it is safe."

She called on Spain's central executive to try to "speed up meetings and agreements" of the European Union so that they allow airports to be reopened safely "to international flights."

Magaluf and Palma Nova are also favourites of British holidaymakers who, before the coronavirus crisis, were once again expected to pack the resorts despite the new plans for curbs on the sale of alcohol, pub crawls and a limit on the number of drinks in all-inclusive hotels.

Under phase one of the Spanish Government's de-escalation plan, planned to start on May 11, hotels can re-open but with limits and massive security measures such as screens and limits on the number of people around the pools and in the dining rooms.

Hotels will have to make sure common areas were sealed off, something hoteliers say they have no idea how to achieve.

In later stages of the de-escalation plan, the ban on the use of common areas would be lifted but there would still be severe space restrictions.

The hoteliers in Magaluf and Palma Nova say that with all travel severely restricted, it would be "impossible" to operate based just on local tourism and "insufficient" once holidaymakers from the Spanish mainland are allowed back in.

President of the local hotel association, Mauricio Carballeda told Spanish media that the Balearic Islands are "clearly at a disadvantage" compared to other peninsular destinations and that insularity will weigh down the recovery.

The Majorca Hotel Business Federation is already working with the Ministry of Health to gain Covid-free certificates.

Earlier, the Federation had slammed the government's de-escalation proposals, describing them as "a deep ignorance of the tourist and business activity".

In a statement, the body said: "The de-escalation plan does not solve at all how to proceed to the opening of hotel establishments.

"The conditions in which it is posed are unfeasible, although they give a false impression of back to the new normal."

They added: "Here in the Balearic archipelago, we absolutely depend on arrivals by air and our majority issuing markets come from European countries .

"We are the most affected autonomous community in Spanish territory."

The Canary Islands has said it wants to welcome back British tourists from October after hotels are opened to Spanish holidaymakers in July or August.

Regional president Angel Victor Torres told Spanish daily El Mundo: “That way, in October, November or December, which are good months in the Canary Islands, we can begin to receive tourists from other countries.”

Balearic Islands tourism minister Iago Negueruela has warned that Brits will not be among those returning to the area this summer.

He told local media earlier this month: “There are countries like the United Kingdom that took too long to adopt confinement measures.”


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