Modernisation has contributed to addressing seasonality. | Archive

At the Great Hotel Debate in Palma on Wednesday, the executive vice-president of the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, María José Aguiló, said that the summer season is looking "very positive".

Organised by the Vía Group and held at the Meliá Palma Marina, Aguiló was one of a group of participants in a discussion about addressing tourism seasonality. But on the main summer season, she highlighted the very positive prospects, despite the fact that there continues to be a high level of last-minute booking. This generates a degree of uncertainty but is something that hotel companies are having to get used to managing.

She added that prices are higher than last year: "Price increases are somewhat generalised and the amounts depend on the type of offer and the accommodation. It is the case, though, that companies have raised prices to offset the increase in production costs."

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At present, Aguiló noted, average occupancy - where 100% of hotels are open - is 75%, which is as it was in April. Palma, she said, "is different due to the type of accommodation, and so the occupancy rate is higher, mainly because of city breaks".

Other speakers - Javier Muñoz (Iberostar), Jorge Herrera (Meliá) and the Balearic government's director for tourism, Isabel Vidal - agreed with Aguiló that Mallorca is on the right path in tackling seasonality.

It was noted that hotel opening this year was brought forward to March and that hotels will be operational until the first week of November in most of Mallorca's resorts. Hotel modernisation, market diversification and a wide range of products, plus air connectivity have been and are key to consolidating the process.

Particular emphasis at the debate was placed on how Mallorca is evolving as a "premium destination". Speakers were in agreement that Mallorca is a leader for this segment in the Mediterranean.