'Beachgoers' who staged a climate change protest in Palma last year. | Jaume Morey

It's one way of lengthening the season, I suppose. Gather EU tourism ministers and their entourages in Palma for a chinwag on October 30 and 31 and this will do wonders for the odd bar in Alcudia or Cala Millor which has decided to limp on until the very end of the month.

The season isn't actually being lengthened as it does officially end on the 31st of October. This is mere detail of course for authorities, hoteliers and others who love to speak of a lengthening, even if nothing is being lengthened. And where the destination is concerned - Palma - it is the case, once the clock passes midnight on October 31, of a seasonal continuation rather than an abrupt end. Sure, Playa de Palma enters a phase of hibernation, which may be more acute if those hotels that do remain open are deprived this winter of the riches to be gained from Spanish pensioner Imserso holidays, but the city itself stays active. The low season is Palma. Oh, and it's also some nice places in the island's interior, which everyone seems to manage to overlook.

Will the ministers be discussing seasonal lengthening? It's possible that they will be, though there are expected to be more ministerial types of issue on the table, such as the impact of climate change on tourism. If the ministers are inclined to neglect this, they will be reminded by the protesters outside Palma's Palacio de Congresos. Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, GOB; they will have pencilled the dates into their diaries. Where the first two are concerned, the police - Palma and National - will doubtless be out in number to prevent any slogans being painted on the front of the Meliá Palma Bay. The ministers won't need the protesters; they will surely know this is a massive issue.

The Palma federation of residents associations will probably send a protest delegation as well. "No to Airbnb," they will shout. Ministers are also due to consider tougher regulations to make the likes of Airbnb more transparent in fighting the good fight against illegal tourist lets. And rightly so.

Why are the ministers meeting in Palma? This is one of a series of gatherings to take place in Spain during the period of Spain's presidency of the EU. Palma was chosen for the tourism gathering because of its strong links to the tourism industry and because it is "a city of culture, sport, leisure and beach". Where the latter is concerned, one trusts that it doesn't tip down with rain while the ministers are in town and they have to red flag Can Pere Antoni beach because of the contamination that will be swept into the sea.

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Just as well that the ministers are meeting when they are then. Come the first of November and there won't be anyone to raise a flag. A continuing season, but only up to a point.

While the organisers will be arranging for ball de bot dancers to entertain the ministers and for a kitchen load of chefs to be bused in to prepare sobrassada haute cuisine dishes, unions in Mallorca will be drawing up plans for their own protests. These won't be outside the Palacio and they won't be at the end of October. They will instead be by hospitality establishments and at the start of next season.

The general secretary of the UGT services federation in the Balearics, José García, has made clear: "What happened this summer can never be repeated again." The other main union, the CCOO, is in total agreement, the target for their anger being businesses which have overloaded workers because of labour shortages.

At a meeting with employers' representatives on Tuesday, García had promised to "bang the table" in letting the employers know that workloads for employees in the tourism sector have become intolerable. The threat is not just of protests outside offending businesses and letting customers know why there are protests but also of industrial action.

There having been a situation of technical full employment over the summer, it can seem bizarre that there are labour shortages and that there is overwork, which isn't adequately compensated and is pretty much forced on staff. But these are matters that the unions have been highlighting all summer, just as they did last year.

The employers have been warned.