Monday, August 28, 2017

#Better In Summer

Sorry, but things aren't quite going to plan, are they. Mallorca (and the Balearics) have admittedly only been officially better in winter since the tourism agency started insisting this was the case last winter, but winter betterment was a wonderland dream of the tourism minister prior to the government's stamp of betterment. Being better in winter means that summers shouldn't be as good, as in there aren't as many tourists, while winters will be better because of a summer tourist reallocation to mid-January. Ah yes, of course winters will be better. However ... the Sant Antoni and Sant Sebastià fiestas are great fun, but sadly they don't come replete with 30-plus degrees of sun.

While Mallorca is knocking out hotel occupancy levels in summer that are the envy of the rest of the country, the sad truth of the matter is that there were fewer tourists this year between January and March. Better in winter really does have some catching-up to do. This said, April was positively overflowing with tourists. Saturated, one might even say. The ministry has frowned upon this. In April next year, the tourists are going to have to pay the full tourist tax whack. That'll learn 'em. And we (the ministry) will have a higher rate of tax, to boot. Take that, you tourist. Aren't you listening? It's better in winter, and the tax is lower. Ok!

Of course, and according to some, the ministry and the government are doing their best to create a nuclear winter all year round. One detects a glee in some quarters. These are the quarters manned by the critics whose cliches extend no further than wishing Mallorca back to the days of everyone riding donkeys. Seriously, can't anyone come up with something more original?

Yes, these critics gloat and sneer, mass unemployment awaits, not mass tourism. You're making us feel unwelcome with all your holiday rentals' caper, all your tourist tax, all your anti-tourist protests, all your queues at the airport, all your three euros for a coffee. Ha ha, Mallorca, your time's up, and I'm off to Croatia. (Take care, all ye gloaters, for it will come to pass that the Croatians and others willst apply stiff rentals' legislation and elevated tourist taxes as well.)

Touristic nuclear winter is not about to descend. The winter itself may be better, but if it is, then it will only ever be moderately better. The summer, however, may well be better. Can Mallorca afford to lose some tourists? I would suggest that it can, given that the numbers have grown like Topsy over the past three or four summers.

You see, there can be such a thing as saturation. Or at least comparative saturation. Here are some more facts from last week which might prove the point. In July, there were 17,676 more guests in Mallorca's hotels than in the whole of Andalusia. And Andalusia is a damn sight bigger than Mallorca. In all of the Canary Islands combined, there were some 330,000 fewer guests than in Mallorca.

Better in winter? Nope. Better in summer.

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