THE Balearic authorities could be facing a rough ride over cruise ships. Apart from the Canary Islands, much to the relief of the Balearic government and a growing number of residents, Madrid are still refusing to allow cruise ships to return to the rest of Spain, in particular the Balearics.
However, Italian cruise line Costa, announced yesterday that it plans to return to the Western Mediterranean this summer, Palma being one of the line’s favourite haunts, and adding a “long stay” in Ibiza.
Official tour guides, understandably desperate to make some money, want cruise ships back, but the question has to be asked yet again, just how much money does the cruise industry generate for Majorca in general?
Remember, the ports are managed by Madrid and apart from companies charged with refueling and restocking the stores on board, not much cash is splashed about by cruise passengers herded ashore by the cruise lines.
What the Balearic Minister for Tourism desperately wants to avoid is city visitors stepping out of their boutique or five star hotels to be met by hoards of cruise passengers who have been fed and watered prior to disembarking and will be shuttled back on board for refreshments.
Palma does need to see a quick revival of its tourist industry, but we need one which will, post pandemic, benefit the many and not just a few.