A protest will take place this morning in Palma against a giant cruise ship with almost 7,000 passengers and 2,000 crew. It is a sign of the times. For the first time ever in Majorca a small minority are saying that they do not want tourism at any cost. And the local authorities are to some extent supporting them.

Tourism minister Bel Busquets said that Majorca needs to finds a balance between tourism and the needs and well-being of the island. Three decades ago the cruise ship would have been welcomed by the municipal band and the local authorities would have been wishing that three vessels of this size could visit Palma. These days, some don't even want one. This is how our principal industry has evolved over the years.

Everyone on the island realises that without tourism Majorca is nothing. But at the same time some are saying that the island needs to look closely at the industry and decide whether, on balance, Palma needs giant cruise ships.

I have grown up with the tourism culture of you can't look a gift horse in the mouth, and at the end of the day a giant cruise ship means cash for the local economy. But tourism has changed and so have attitudes. Majorca is not in danger of losing its position as one of the principal holiday destinations in the world. Far from it. It can afford to ask the question; tourism at any cost, well no. But what message are we sending out? Simply that if Majorca wants to continue to be a paradise island in the Mediterranean, environmental concerns have to be addressed head on. Also, if Palma is overcrowded, then this could ruin the enjoyment of the city for residents and tourists alike.

Finding the balance is probably the way forward. Some could argue that the island is a victim of its own success. But let's face it, people are queuing up to come on holiday here, and we can afford to be slightly picky.


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Britbabe / Hace about 1 year

I agree that Mallorca is extremely busy in July and August but that is when most visitors have to have their main holiday - almost forced on them by the education authorities of various countries. The trouble with being too picky about who comes here and who does not is that elitism forces up prices - not only for visitors but for locals too. Many residents are not rich. There is a surprising amount of poverty on the island already and this would increase if holiday makers are restricted or put off coming here by legislation.


Roy / Hace about 1 year

Interesting cruise ship/commercial ship comparison. Germany produces more air born pollutants than all the shipping in the world. Not good for the former leading EU state.


James / Hace about 1 year

Well said, Jason.

I, for one, am sick of the 'new normal' of excessive tourist numbers in July/Aug. If anything is going to stop me visiting it'll be the crowds, not the prices, tourist tax or minor protests.


Henry James / Hace about 1 year

Things can change in a very short time,with all the anti-tourist protests,rising hotel prices and ban on holiday apartment rentals,families might not be "queuing up" to come to Majorca when they can very easily go somewhere cheaper and where they feel welcome,leaving only the 18-30 brigade and older boozers who only want to get blind drunk on a holiday coming to the likes of Magaluf,Santa Ponsa and Playa de Palma.