It is amazing how times change. Two years ago the Balearic government was busy introducing legislation to curb the visits by giant cruise ships....and now they are going down the docks to welcome them to Palma!
On Thursday the first cruise ship in many months will be visiting the Port of Palma and senior officials from the Balearic government will be leading the welcome committee. To be fair to the Balearic government it was the mega-cruise ships, with 5,000 passengers, arriving in port all-at-once which were causing the problems but in 2019, before the pandemic broke, there was a growing anti-cruise ship platform.
Eighteen months without cruise ships and one of the biggest economic meltdowns ever seen in the Balearics and attitudes have changed. We now want cruise ships...no-one will say in public that we would like to see a return to 2019 but most people would welcome it, at least privately.
If you look around Palma at the moment it is relatively empty and this is because of the lack of tourists and cruise ship passengers. Many shops have been forced to close because a sizeable amount of their business came from cruise ship passengers. An important lesson has been learnt in the Balearic over the last 18 months.
You can´t take anything for granted especially tourists. The Balearic government is right to welcome them back to Palma and hopefully they will be more ships on the horizon. Palma needs cruise ships more than cruise ships need Palma.