Since the advent of packaged Majorca holidays some sixty years ago initiated by holiday companies such as Thomas Cook and Thomson Holidays, whole areas of Spain and other European countries have built their economies around tourism, and each year they hope that the holidaymakers will come to their area. Some islands like Menorca and Majorca are almost entirely dependent upon having a modern economy and infrastructure through incoming tourism.
After an unseasonably warm April in Britain when many people were considering taking a holiday in traditionally popular areas of the UK for holidays such as Scotland, Devon and Cornwall, the move towards an overseas holiday changed as quickly as the weather. Widespread floods led to mass holiday bookings and flights to Majorca, to the extent where some tour operators were able to return their holiday costs to full prices - and from a million unsold holidays people were suddenly having to take what was available.
In recent years traditional holiday destinations such as Spain have faced new competition from Eastern European countries, with often lower cost holiday packages and flights, but despite initial signs of a real challenge, Spain seems to have seen them off for the moment at least, with overall visitor numbers for 2017 expected to rise compared to last year.
The Royals traditionally spend their summer holidays on the island at the Marivent Palace, with this year being no exception. Previous guests some years ago during their Majorca holidays have included Princess Diana with Princes William and Harry while they were still toddlers.
Majorca has a rich holiday history compared to most tourist destinations and in Europe only the French Riviera can compare, where the Victorian English frequented Nice, to the extent where the main boulevard was named the Promenade d'Anglais.
Over 200 million people have been on Majorca holidays over the last hundred years, with British and Germans the two nationalities heading the list of arrivals. The British have tended to head east to Magaluf and Palma Nova, the Germans to Arenal in the west of the island.
The first hotel to cater for tourists dates back as far as 1903 when the Grand opened her doors for business, the first of many hotels in Majorca to spring up between now and then. The tourists then were Europes' wealthy and they were delighted with Majorca holidays and what the island had to offer, securing the island as a holiday destination well before the days of low cost flights and package holidays had become a reality some sixty years or so later.
Perhaps not seeing that Majorca holidays would become one of Europe's top holiday destinations for all-comers, the island first tried successfully to pitch herself as a niche market for honeymoons in the 1950's, with the second world war and Spanish Civil War having brought earlier attempts at incoming tourism into a state of suspension, and the first true package holiday tourists arrived in 1952.flights to Majorca coming down in price significantly in recent years and a host of airlines operating from airports across Europe, Majorca holidays have never been so accessible, and the traditional fortnight has been surpassed by frequent 3 and 4 day trips two or three times a year for many people, and with many Europeans who are environmentally conscious moving away from long distance holidays in destinations such as Florida, the map of Majorca might well appear in more households when planning a holiday.
The increase in the number of tourists to Majorca has been measured and it makes fascinating reading. In 1950, Majorca and her sister islands of Menorca and Ibiza received under 100,000 tourists. By 1973 this had grown to over 7 million for Majorca alone, and last year it had risen to over 10 million.
The possibility of reaching fifteen million visitors in a single year is a very real possibility for the island.