Year by year new visitor records, rising prices, tourism tax, rebellious locals, exploding car rental market and full beaches … Mallorca is more popular than ever.
But how much growth does the island support? Where does Mallorca´s tourism go to? Is Mallorca out of collapse?
Norbert Amthor and Christiane Zube, hosts at the Fincahotel Can Estades, give an assessment.
In the hilly southwest, surrounded by almond trees and paddocks, the two Germans hosts Norbert Amthor and Christiane Zube have welcomed guests for 5½ years – guests who seek the true Mallorca but modern comforts.
“As hoteliers and entrepreneurs we are of course pleased that Mallorca is becoming increasingly popular. But as locals, we are also thinking about our environment, “says Amthor, who sits relaxed with Panama hat in front of the romantic stone fassade of Finca Can Estades, with dog Rodrigo next to him.
The water for the guests comes from the finca’s own well, hot water is partly generated from solar panels and the delicious jam on the breakfast buffet is home made by Christiane.
The two are convinced that only quality tourism on Mallorca has a future. They do not mean high-price tourism, but tourists who are seeking the beauty of Mallorca, no matter in what price class they stay.
The move from mass tourism to quality tourism was determined 15 years ago. Since then, the regional government has been trying to discard the dingy, the winter season and the cultural program. And it is succeeding, albeit slowly.
Mallorca has become the top destination in cycling, with two of the 24 golf courses on the island in the 50 best in Europe (Golf Son Gual and Golf de Alcanada), world stars like Tom Jones, Michael Bolton, Gloria Gaynor, Simply Red and Elton John on the stages, the Tramuntana mountain range has been declared a World Heritage Site, and the real-estate market is constantly growing. International stars such as Michael Douglas and Lenny Kravitz, who own houses, are ambassadors and even Hollywood discovered the island as a perfect film location.
“It is a pity that the tourism is not going to go along like that,” says Christiane Zube. “But I am convinced that Mallorca will attract more quality-conscious tourists in the coming years.”
Tourism Minister Biel Barcelo is also convinced of this, and, at the summer festival of the legendary Arabella hotel in Son Vida, praised the courage of the company group to have set the quality of tourism 25 years ago. Here, as well as in the numerous country hotels, it is clear the model “Away from beach, nature, sport, country and people” can be successfully operated.
Christiane Zube, however, is picking a ripe orange – organic of course – smells it with pleasure and offers it to her guests on the hotel terrace. They have just returned from dinner in the neighbouring village.
“I cannot imagine a better holiday than in the middle of nature,” says the lady who is already spending her holiday at Fincahotel Can Estades for the third time. “Why should I stay in one of the impersonal hotels on the beach and fight for a sunbed and eat bulk at the buffet? Here I share the pool with a few others, the beach is still not far and I appreciate the local food.”
Norbert Amthor, on the other hand, is convinced the product of mass tourism in Mallorca will never be completely phased out. Also, in the future, mass hotels will shape the landscape and tourists will have seen nothing of the island apart from the beach when returning home.
“But we are on the right track. The new convention center in Palma will bring more international audiences to the island, if only in the business sector, but perhaps, later on, privately,” says the hotelier and hobby-saxophonist.
“We all – and I mean politicians, hoteliers and employees – must have the courage to become quality tourism. This is the only way to keep up with our scarce water reserves, to put our stupid problems under control and, above all, to calm the local people.”
As published in many media this year, locals get tired of the mass of tourists – naturally, if you as a local cannot even get a sunbed by the beach …
But this is certainly not the thorn in the eye, also not the much-described 90,000 car hire. It is rather the recklessness of the visitors, especially in the summer, who are slightly clothed, celebrating and disputing the territory with the locals. And there is the fear of losing their own little paradise “Mallorca”, which ultimately belongs to those who live here all year and are very hospitable and open.
Mallorca fully booked?
Norbert Amthor and Christiane Zube, but also other hoteliers, are angry about reports saying that all hotels are fully booked. “Mallorca is not fully booked,” they say and are annoyed by the current coverage. High-class hotels that rely on quality tourism have especially suffered from the generalised statement of mainly tour operators.
And so some of the beds in the most beautiful hotels on the island remain empty this summer.
“Not because we and our colleagues are too expensive, but because the people abroad do not even look for accommodation in Mallorca, if it says everywhere, it is booked,” says Christiane Zube. “This damages the business of the fine hotels, but also of restaurants and niche providers, who do not rely on mass tourism.”
Christiane Zube and Norbert Amthor return to the old living kitchen of the finca. It is noon, siesta, and whoever is not cooling off in the pool, is looking for a quiet, shady place in the large garden of Can Estades. This is summer in Mallorca!
About the Fincahotel Can Estades
Can Estades is a fine country hotel for guests aged 12 and over, with German hosts who guarantee relaxation and tranquility in the popular south west of Mallorca.
Nestled in the original Mallorcan countryside with wide almond trees, horse farms and courtyards, Can Estades is just 1.5 km from Calvia and 10 minutes’ drive from fantastic beaches, golf courses and marinas. Numerous hiking and biking trails lead past the hotel and the view continues to the Galatzo, at more than 1,000 meters, the highest peak in south-west Mallorca.
On the property, with its own sustainable water supply, mainly almonds are cultivated – harvested in the autumn and processed for delicious cakes and nibbles for the guests.
The island-typical Can Estates is an island-style country house dating back to the 16th century and has been lovingly converted into a finca hotel with 12 rooms and apartments and all modern amenities. Essential elements such as the in-house chapel and the living room have been preserved and are now retreats for the guests. The beautiful stone façade, with a sundial and a fountain, has already hosted a film festival, as well as summer music in front of the impressive country house.
The ideal holiday starts with a rich breakfast on the large sun terrace, then relaxation by the pool while recharging the ‘batteries’ in absolutely quiet nature. Several terraces, lounges and a very large garden offer privacy for every guest.
Double room from 135 € / night including breakfast
Fincahotel Can Estades
Cami de Son Pillo, n ° 15
07184 Calviá, Mallorca
+34 971 670 558