Majorca is hopeful a travel corridor with the UK can be opened in time for the summer peak.
Officials believe the island’s 800,000 population can be vaccinated within the next four months, making a travel corridor with the UK a realistic prospect this summer.
Any decision about travel to the island from the UK government would likely be swayed in Majorca’s favour if its population was shown to be vaccinated.
“We are very optimistic,” said Lucia Escribano, Majorca Tourism director. “We expect to have 70% of hotels open,” she added.
She said the island was awaiting a directive from the Madrid government as to whether a negative PCR test would be valid for entry to the island in addition to a health passport detailing vaccines.
“It is in the minds of the Spanish government, Majorca cannot do something by itself,” she said.
Germany is permitting its citizens to travel to the island from Friday, with all arrivals, including children, needing to present a negative PCR test.
Escribano dismissed suggestions that Majorca, which attracted 16.4 million tourists in 2019, would deter visitors due to perceived overcrowding as the UK emerges from the pandemic.
“We are not expecting massive numbers this year,” she said.
She acknowledged other destinations would have a head start on Majorca, but said the island had advantages over other countries.
“We are two hours’ flying, the infrastructure here is first-class and the British know that. When you feel your family could be at risk you look for a place where you will be safe.”
Escribano also said she was optimistic cruise ships would return to Palma from May.
The island’s government is inviting UK operators to tender for a €450,000 matched marketing grant, while Spain’s central government is offering a similar deal with bigger operators for €1 million in matched funding.
Escribano said Majorca Tourism had concentrated on its sustainability work during the pandemic.
“We have been working towards consideration for the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories; there are only 32 in the world.”
Winning STO status would mean UNWTO monitoring of the island’s work towards sustainability.
“Within four years, we will be audited and there will be a lot of key points we need to fulfil,” she said.