Home World Spanish holiday hotspot 'missing tourists' as restaurants struggling after protests

Spanish holiday hotspot 'missing tourists' as restaurants struggling after protests

Restaurants in the Spanish holiday hotspot of Mallorca have noticed a drop in the number of customers in the middle of June, raising alarm bells for the sector, according to the president of Mallorca CAEB restaurant association, Alfonso Robledo. They argue that the drop in clients is more noticeable in the resorts.

“Before there was no difference between Mondays and Saturdays. We were always full because people who are on holiday don’t take into account whether it is a working day or a public holiday.

This year, however, customers are leaving their dinners or lunches for the weekends,” said Robledo to the Majorca Daily Bulletin.

The new trend began in 2023 and is more pronounced this year.

“We don’t understand what is happening because there are more and more tourists,” added Robledo.

Pedro Fiol, president of the travel agency association Aviba, added that fewer tourists are coming to the island: “If it weren’t for tourism, which continues to push these figures upwards, Mallorca would have averages similar to those of an urban destination”. He also claimed that “Palma city is dragging these figures down”.

On top of this, the fact that customers in bars and restaurants are reducing their spending is also causing problems. “They don’t order as happily as they used to, especially in the years after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are much more restrained and more careful about what they consume,” points out the representative of the restaurant businessmen.

“Until now, June had always been a good month, giving a taste of what the tourist season could bring. However, this year we are having, in particular, study trips, which has always been the case, and stag and hen parties.

“These people that do not spend and we are missing the tourists with a medium-high purchasing power who used to visit the island before the massive arrival of travellers in July and August,” he explains.

Fiol confirmed that there has been a decrease in tourist spending in resorts (the total cost of the holiday has risen), as more are opting to “shield their holidays”, with packages offering half-board, full-board or all-inclusive.

“There is less and less porosity between visitors and the island’s restaurants because they already bring the vast majority of their lunches and dinners with them,” he reports.

The president of Mallorca CAEB Restauración said he is concerned about the development of the tourist season, as he fears that this trend will continue. Robledo insists that they have made very important investments in recent years, which they were counting on making profitable this summer.

Faced with this situation, one of the measures adopted by the island’s restaurateurs is avoid raising prices, aware that their customers have less and less purchasing power due to inflation. Many of the businesses are replacing the more expensive products with seasonal ones, as they are always cheaper.

Recently, British tourists have taken to Facebook to share their plans to boycott popular destinations and even cancel their holidays in favour of places where they would feel more welcome, greatly influenced by the protests that continue across the Spanish islands.

One wrote: “So if the deluded Spanish Islanders don’t want tourists, there are too many tourists, and tourists are not welcome, then tourists WILL (and already are) go to other places where they ARE welcome.”

One commenter also told GB News: “We just cancelled our family holiday to Majorca in August. Now going to Greece instead. We used to go to Majorca every year but won’t bother now, they won’t survive without tourism.”


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