The manager of Palma’s tourism board says the destination “must remain optimistic” despite UK government travel restrictions.
Quarantine measures were announced for travellers arriving into the UK from mainland Spain on 25 July – swiftly extended to those coming from its islands on 27 July.
Pedro Homar said he felt “confident” UK tourism will bounce back, following a rising trend for autumn and winter visits by Brits to the Balearic capital over the last few years.
From October 2019 to February 2020, Palma (and the nearby resort of Playa de Palma) welcomed a 14.2% increase in British visitors compared to the same period the previous winter.
In October 2019, UK arrivals were up 13.6% year-on-year, while November 2019 saw UK arrivals jump by 44% compared to November 2018. December was up 5% year-on-year.
The number of room nights booked by UK visitors between October 2019 and February 2020 increased by 7.4% compared to the previous winter, with that figure significantly smaller than the growth in UK visitors for the same period - indicating shorter stays or an increase in those staying with family or friends during the winter season.
Homar said Palma was focused on “reducing the city’s reliability” on the peak summer season.
“Despite the current UK travel advice impacting 2020 bookings, we must remain optimistic ahead of the autumn and winter months and we feel confident that UK tourism will bounce back given the historical travel data,” he said.
“Booking data from ForwardKeys also shows that there is still high demand amongst British holidaymakers to travel to the Balearic Islands in 2020 with the destination predicted to be the most resilient in Spain for bookings this calendar year.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to navigate this situation in an optimistic way. Of course, the decision by the UK government is having a very big impact on our tourism sector.
“In 2020, we have lost a huge part of our tourism revenue and this will have long-term repercussions for many of those in Palma and Majorca that contribute to the tourism supply chain.
“Nevertheless, we have to look forward as best as possible and as a city, we have a strong tourism proposition during the autumn and winter months and Palma is a great base for those looking to explore Mallorca.”