As has been the case in the past two to three years, hotels will be closing later this autumn. In some instances, they will be open until mid-November, though for the most part the cut-off point will be around 20 October or the end of the month. Three of the main hotelier associations - those for Playa de Palma, Palmanova-Magalluf and Alcudia-Can Picafort - say that virtually all hotels will be open until the third week of October.
Evidence of demand this month was provided by the airport at the weekend. On Saturday there were over 150,000 passengers, a figure that has never previously been reached. This coming Saturday, it is expected to be almost matched: Aena is forecasting 140,000 passengers. These numbers, it has to be borne in mind, are arrivals and departures. Nevertheless, they are an indication of tourism activity that has increased in October.
The Majorca Hoteliers Federation says that last October there was an average 69% occupancy during the month. It expects the figure to be much the same this month. The federation's numbers aren't, however, the same as those provided by the regional institute of statistics. According to Ibestat, the occupancy was 65.5% last October. Even so, it was up from 61.1% in 2015.
There will of course be some hotels which stay open right through the off-season. Among these will be ones with Imserso Spanish pensioner tourists, who started arriving on Monday. But as is so often said, Imserso generates low profits for hotels, which is why fewer now bother with it, while the non-hotel sector sees little benefit: coach operators are probably the ones who enjoy most of what benefit there is.
While the late season looks decent enough for Majorca, a thought should be spared for Minorca, where the collapse of Monarch is going to have an impact. Hotel occupancy in October in Minorca is typically higher than in Majorca: it was 67.3% (Ibestat figure) in 2016 and 64.3% in 2015.
Monarch, up to August this year, was the second most important UK airline for Minorca in terms of passenger numbers. The Ashome hotelier association on the island says that Monarch's bankruptcy is a real blow for October business. Meanwhile, the Minorca Tourist Board is setting up urgent contacts with easyJet, Jet2, British Airways and Air Nostrum in the hope of salvaging the low season.
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