Tour guide by the Cathedral. | MDB

Miguel Ángel Beltrán is an official tour guide, licensed and qualified in accordance with Balearic government tourism regulations. He is the director of Tours Mallorca and has been in the business for years, a business that brings him into direct and close contact with holidaymakers. His experience gives him a particular insight into tourists.

"Above all, tourists want to be surprised. Away from beach tourism, they want to get to know the culture, traditions, gastronomy, shows. They want to go into an artist's studio and get to know him. But tourists on a guided tour of Palma can be surprised by the graffiti, how dirty some streets are, the LED lighting of the old town which has taken away its charm, the number of shops that are closed, the smell of pee. They ask how social security works. They ask about the hospitals, who governs us, what people's salaries are. We can see that they are surprised, and not for the better."

There are the positive aspects - the character of the old city mansions and the courtyards - but in general Miguel Ángel is left feeling somewhat concerned about how a certain sector of the political class does not understand that "here, either directly or indirectly, we all live off tourism".

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"We depend on it. It is the motor of our economy, but from what we see there is an impression that they want to weaken it; burden it even. Worst of all, they don't give any alternative."

Miguel Ángel is hardly a radical. He would like there to be a middle ground and is in favour of tougher regulations, such as for illegal holiday lets and all-inclusive hotels - "the complementary sector (bars, restaurants, etc.) is paying the consequences". "And because of the permissibility of illegal selling, the survival of small businesspeople is made more difficult. You find illegalities everywhere, be they on the beach or in the city. How do you deal with them? More police, more surveillance, more sanctions, more measures. Yes, and meanwhile drunken tourism continues in Palma and in Magalluf without anyone taking action against it.

"But then they mess with cruise tourism, when the cruise tourists are the perfect tourists - they arrive, spend a few hours in Palma, spend money, which means creating jobs, and leave. Yes, this type of tourism may produce a certain sense of being overwhelmed, but that's only in specific places like around the Cathedral and on C. Sant Miquel. If you go to parallel streets, you will hardly find anyone other than everyday people. That's why I think that this phobia towards cruise ships is nothing more than an electoral measure, as no one believes this type of tourism is negative for the city; quite the contrary."