The Balearic Islands are attractive holiday destinations due to their weather and only being a short distance flight away. They attracted 13.6 million tourists last year and over a third were Britons. However with lockdown measures in place in the UK and restrictions on travelling, holidays have been cancelled to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
According to the Balearics Tourism minister lago Negueruela, the local government is expecting the islands to remain closed in May, June and July due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After these months, they hope to see a gradual reintroduction of oversea visitors to rebuild the tourism economy.
Almost 15,000 jobs are expected to be lost on the four islands, with ministers admitting that the islands of Ibiza and Formentera which rely on their tourism are likely to be hit the hardest.
However, Mr Negueruela hinted that Britons will not be amongst those returning to the islands and told the local media that only tourists from certain countries will be allowed in.
Mr Negueruela said this figure could hopefully increase to 50 percent after this.
The islands have said they do not expect to greet any visitors until August due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus.
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago off eastern Spain. Spain is the second-worst hit country, second to the United States. The nation’s confirmed cases currently stand at over 208,000 with a death toll of over 22,000.
It could be several months before Brits are allowed to enter the Balearics for holidays.
All commercial flights are currently banned.
Even for holiday makers allowed to enter the Balearics, hotels could remain shut.
The president of the Association of Hotel Chains, Gabriel Llobera explained that hotel groups could decide not to open any hotels.
Even if some hotels do open potentially at the start of September, chains may only open some of their hotels and allocate guests to these hotels in order to fill them.
However this also does depend on the coronavirus situation and tour operator decisions.
The restriction on movement means that the cancellation of the tourist season is expected to cost the Balearics around €9.2 billion (£8.3 billion) and according to the islands Department of Labour, GDP is expected to fall by 31.6 percent.
Greece is amongst many countries hoping to reopen their beaches and tourism this year.
Greek Islands rely heavily on tourism and are expected to take a large economic hit as a result of the worldwide lockdown.
Last year, an estimated four million British holiday makers travelled to Greece for their summer holidays.
However the government has said that they are working hard to ensure that the tourism season could be pushed into Autumn.
The Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis said: “There may be some demand for October and maybe even November, but this is something that we will examine at a second stage solving the season’s main issues.”
Many countries are facing the impacts of zero tourism and it will be several months before tourists return.
Published at Fri, 24 Apr 2020 04:00:00 +0000