Jet2 boss warns Spain’s leaders: Be careful what you wish for

By Harry Kemble
21/04/2023
Home » Jet2 boss warns Spain’s leaders: Be careful what you wish for

Brits will flock to other value destinations if they feel they’re not welcome in Spain, warns Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy.

During a presentation to Spanish politicians in Palma, Majorca this week, Steve said: “Be careful what you wish for. If you give the impression that you don’t want tourists, they will end going elsewhere.”

And he warned Brits have other options, such as Turkey or Greece, which are cheaper, Majorca Daily Bulletin reports.

“They are strong and have fantastic value,” he said.

His warning relates to plans by Majorca to crack down on tourist numbers this year after locals complained of overcrowding last summer.

Majorca President Catalina Cladera said the island wanted to attract ‘tourism of higher worth and fewer quantity’ from now on.

And it follows a row over a statement made by Lanzarote Cabildo (Council) President Dolores Corujo, who said the island wanted to attract higher quality tourists and not depend so much on high-volume British bookings.

This led to Steve writing to express his ‘extreme concern’ that her comments could have a ‘detrimental effect on Brits choosing to holiday in Lanzarote. Ms Corujo later backtracked, saying her comments were taken out of context.

The Majorca Daily Bulletin said Steve reiterated he doesn’t agree with discussions about limiting visitors or searching for quality tourism – ‘whatever this means’ –but made clear that he is willing to sit down with political leaders to discuss these issues and try to bring positions closer.

He said Jet2 customers had not been concerned about overcrowding in Majorca last year, but did complain about lack of staff at some hotels on the island.

Tourists are ‘happy to come to Majorca even if there are a lot of people, because it is a busy island and for many that is part of the experience – finding busy bars and restaurants’, he said.

He added: “There must be a good debate between the government, airlines, hotels and public, who have to find a compromise solution because it is a difficult matter to solve.

“You have to understand what different parties want to find a correct solution. It’s not easy, but less tourism means less income, less GDP and less employment for the people of the islands.”

Travel Gossip has approached Jet2 for a comment.

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