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Charlie Hill, co-founder of Charles Marlow, shares his feelings regarding UK quarantine and the Balearics.

The decision by the UK government to include the Balearics in its new 14-day quarantine ruling on travellers from Spain has dealt another blow to the tourism industry which Charles Marlow, through our rentals business, is a part.

I don’t feel qualified to comment on the wisdom of this decision. Events in the past few months have taught me that responses to coronavirus change all the time as authorities respond to the pandemic.

But, as a member of the Balearics tourism industry, I do want to share my feelings on the quarantine.

For a start, my heart goes out to the people who can’t now come on holiday to Mallorca or Ibiza. At Charles Marlow, we never forget that holidays are all about pleasure and the active pursuit of happiness.

Having to cancel a holiday you’ve looked forward to for months, especially in these times of lockdown filled with uncertainty and anxiety is more than just disappointing. It’s heartbreaking.

Of course, it’s always possible to take a holiday in the UK but there’s something especially liberating and relaxing about being in the sun. Mallorca and Ibiza have a special vibe that you can’t find anywhere else.

I also feel for my friends working in tourism in Mallorca in Ibiza, in communities that Charles Marlow is part of.

They will struggle this year, and many may have to close permanently. I was told by a friend that, since the crisis started, around 90 bars in the centre of Palma have gone forever.

So, in these uncertain times, what can we in the Balearics tourism industry do?

This might sound strange in a business context, but I believe we need to be begin by using lessons learned from mindfulness and meditation.

I have learned that when all around me is chaos, it’s vital that I stop, breathe, and calm my mind. It’s as simple as sitting somewhere quiet, closing my eyes and watching my breath flow in and out.

When I arrive at inner stillness, even if I only stay there for as little as five minutes, I’m able to find a way forwards that isn’t just logical but comes from the heart.

Charles Marlow’s coronavirus policy to protect people renting holiday homes with us as well as homeowners was born out of compassion and business pragmatism.

We put our special coronavirus cancellation policy in place back in mid-March when the virus began to restrict movement.

Because we understood that many people who’d booked rentals with us were afraid of losing money or of the virus, we relaxed our normally strict cancellation policy.

We added three extra clauses:

  • Final payment – we now ask that final payment of 75% of the total cost of the rental is paid four weeks before check in.
  • Cancellation before final payment – if you wish to cancel your rental before you’ve made the final payment, you can do so up until four weeks before check in.
  • Rescheduling after final payment – if you’ve made your final payment but want to reschedule, you can if there is a travel ban between your country and Mallorca or if your country’s foreign office has advised against essential travel. Should you reschedule to a time when the cost of the rental is more, you will have to pay the difference.

This special policy remains in force and is offering peace of mind to our rental clients and homeowners.

Like you, I don’t know what will happen in the next few months. But I, and the rest of the Charles Marlow team, remain positive.

If you’ve booked a rental with us and are now unable to come on those dates or a homeowner, we know how you feel but we’re confident we’ll see you in the not too distant future.

Let’s be optimistic together.