Response to Maria Fontera statement - cover story of Friday’s DB

Dear Sir,
We were surprised to read such a manipulative statement from Maria Frontera, the President of the Hoteliers Federation. She states that if the tourist industry all worked together, Majorca could have a 12 month holiday season.

Of course the hoteliers would love to have the island flooded with tourists 365 days a year with no respite from the day to day drudge of having to serve an endless stream of tourists. There must be a correct balance between the raw capitalist greed of corporations and tax collectors, and the quality of life and inconvenience suffered by ordinary local citizens.

Only large tourist companies can afford to pay the onerous Spanish labour contracts on a full year basis. With a 12 month tourist turnover, how would there be time for rest and repairs from regular wear and tear? How would the local population get a break and have their own time off? (Since tourists mainly come when on non-working times - weekends, holidays, vacation days.) How would the island handle peace-keeping, waste management, social and resource organization and orderliness without a massive influx of new off-island workers? And where would they be domiciled and serviced?

Most resort destinations and especially islands do not suffer from overly depressed economies - and Majorca is no exception. Majorcans on the whole are not slaves to materialism and the race to work themselves to death to buy branded luxuries. Our luxury is the incredible fortunate natural beauty we have on this island and the close ties of family and a rich culture of traditions.

While tourism is crucial to the island’s survival, it would not be wise to grind it all up in a never-ending hamster-wheel of more and more tourists sucking up the island’s energy and natural resources. The hoteliers would love to swell their coffers of course. There are many other industries on Majorca as well, and today’s 21st century culture provides the possibilities to invest and promote in alternative economic opportunities that use brain power and innovation as opposed to just sweating it out serving masses of tourists.

Endlessly crowded streets, beaches, restaurants, events, loutish and boorish drunken tourists, aggressive biking pelotons disregarding traffic on small roads, hordes of foreigners attending events meant to be enjoyed by local families, the sea roiling and boiling from an over flux of boats, all the trash and rubbish generated by masses of visitors - sometimes we need a break - called the "off season".

Large cities with huge well-oiled infrastructures and police forces like New York, London, and Paris can barely handle mass tourism 365/24/7. And it’s still unpleasant - New York last Christmas time was very difficult to navigate the streams and hordes of tourists in midtown.

So beware Majorca! Beware of the greed of mass tourism and its effects on the beautiful quality of life afforded here. Better to concentrate on increasing those tourists with deeper pockets and save the trampling tourism to the mainland that has more space to handle endless crowds.

Temujin Khan