US arrives in Mallorca with record numbers of tourists and investment in luxury homes
The connections between the US market and the Balearic Islands are increasingly solid. In addition to last year’s record number of tourist visits with the activation of the New York-Palma route, there is a growing interest in real estate investment which, among other things, has led to the arrival in Mallorca of The Agency, a prestigious US luxury real estate agency recently made popular by a Netflix docudrama. The opening of the Portals Nous franchise, the agency’s first in Spain, took place last week, amidst the debate over the possibility of limiting property sales to foreigners to curb the rising cost of housing in the Balearics. A seemingly hostile scenario that has not, however, slowed down the launch of the project.
“It seems unlikely to me that it will happen,” says the director of the franchise, Alby Euesden, who, nevertheless, recognises that the press headlines may generate some concern among investors. Although the Association of Registrars does not provide data broken down by region, state statistics do show the growing interest of investors in the Spanish geography, which doubled last year (from 534 to 1046). Its roadmap is to operate in the Ponent region, focusing on selected areas of Palma, Calvià and Andratx. The American client, logically, will be the priority, although the agency will work with all types of nationalities, especially those most inclined to invest in real estate on the island, German and British.
Euesden, who was born in the UK but has lived in the Balearics since he was a child, points out that his path and that of The Agency converged at a time when the company was looking to consolidate its expansion in Europe. Mallorca has thus become the new base of operations for a firm that already operates in a dozen countries and has chosen the island as the gateway to Spain, despite having considered other options such as Madrid, Barcelona or Marbella.
On the other hand, the commitment to Mallorca is based on the growing interest of the American public in the Islands, whose popularity has been helped by factors such as its status as a set for Hollywood productions, the presence of Michael Douglas and the opening of Son Bunyola, Richard Branson’s new hotel in the Tramuntana (the British millionaire is another well-known figure in the USA). “I noticed that I was hearing more and more people with American accents in restaurants and other places in Palma,” says Euesden of the reasons that led him to contact The Agency.
But if there has been one factor that has been really key, it has been the opening of the New York-Palma connection, boosting American visits to 167,930 arrivals by 2022. The figure leaves pre-pandemic records behind but is still well below those of the Balearic Islands’ main source markets. All in all, the United airlift and its impact on the connection with the US has been a source of the growing real estate interest in the Islands. What’s more, the success of this route has led to this year’s flight period being extended from May to October (in 2022 it was from June to September).
Economic ties are strengthening on both sides of the Atlantic and with these ingredients it is no coincidence that Mallorca has been chosen by Turespaña to host the conference to support the marketing of Spanish destinations in the US and Canadian markets from 18 to 20 April. The event will be attended by North American travel agents and tour operators interested in marketing Spanish tourism products and services.
By UH Diario.