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The closure of the hospitality industry during the pandemic sank the Balearic economy, dependent for the most part on tourism.

In the middle of summer, we spoke with

Antonio Ferrer

(Palma, 1961),

director of the

Valparaíso Palace

, one of the historic hotels in Mallorca.

How are things this year? After a very hard year, we live with great uncertainty. We depend on the decisions of the countries where our tourists come from and, since they do not do it homogeneously, we do not know how to plan. We also suffer from the lack of qualified workers. Do you mean that there is no unemployment in the hospitality industry? Not much, there is also little desire to work. We have had people who have been working one day and gone. Last week we hired a waitress to prepare the organization of the dinners and she was only there for an hour. He said he could not keep up with the rhythm and left. You see people and animation in the hotel. But the reservations we have are from today to tomorrow, last minute, due to that uncertainty. Everything is clear until August 12, after that we don't know anything. And, in general, this is the case throughout the hospitality industry.What customers are missing? The British. In our case it was not the most remarkable, although two summers ago we had the mayor of London on vacation here. There are quite a few Germans, the restrictions in Germany have not affected us that much. When they arrive in their country, they are not forced to quarantine. What affects us in Germany is family tourism, because children over the age of six are required to quarantine, as they are not yet in the vaccination program. How are they doing with the Balearic government of socialists and Podemos? They have not helped us any. More propaganda has been done than anything else. When you go to seek help, the requirements are impossible. They do not seem enthusiastic about tourism, some even want to end it. They do not know how to appreciate what it means. Without tourism, Mallorca does not survive. Valparaíso has not closed all winter,How have they managed to resist? Taking losses and reinventing ourselves, doing things on weekends for the people of the island. I considered that, as an emblematic hotel, we had to be open and morally I had to think about my workers. Some part-time, others full-time, but busy. The effort of this team has been essential to maintain us. Their professional situation is peculiar. The hotel is owned by the Chinese group GPRO and this is their only hotel in Europe. You do not have bosses in Spain, you must make your own decisions. Quite a risk, when in August 2020, news arrived that the United Kingdom and Germany ban travel to Spain, in China they said: 'we closed the hotel'. I was against it, you had to keep the type, look for new clients, position yourself.They were two weeks of very hard discussions with distant leaders and of another culture. Today they are happy to have given me the reason. Did the Chinese company reduce the possibility of selling the hotel in the worst moments? There have been many offers, Spanish and foreign, but they were rejected outright. In any case, the future is guaranteed, whatever happens. In the absence of discos and parties, has the pandemic changed the type of tourism or its customs? It seems that there are more activities related to art and culture and more hobbies to eat well, to physical activity and sports. The trend is not bad at all. Do you think mass vaccination will be the solution? It is clear that things will go better with the entire vaccinated population, but I also think that nothing will be the same again.People will have a lot of respect and fear of what has happened and will live in a feeling of permanent alertness, that anything unforeseen can happen at any time for which you are not prepared. Heads of State and International Characters, by Hassan II Farah Diba, invited by King Juan Carlos, stayed at this hotel. Today the emeritus cannot return to a place he loves. Don Juan Carlos has done a lot for the island, his contribution has been priceless. Mallorca owes him a lot. The stay of these characters filled the covers of the press from all over the world, promoting Mallorca and attracting quality tourism.from Hassan II to Farah Diba, invited by King Juan Carlos, stayed at this hotel. Today the emeritus cannot return to a place he loves. Don Juan Carlos has done a lot for the island, his contribution has been priceless. Mallorca owes him a lot. The stay of these characters filled the covers of the press from all over the world, promoting Mallorca and attracting quality tourism.from Hassan II to Farah Diba, invited by King Juan Carlos, stayed at this hotel. Today the emeritus cannot return to a place he loves. Don Juan Carlos has done a lot for the island, his contribution has been priceless. Mallorca owes him a lot. The stay of these characters filled the covers of the press from all over the world, promoting Mallorca and attracting quality tourism.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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