German tourists arriving in Mallorca. | Ruiz Collado


While the Balearic government were celebrating in Berlin this week that a record four million German tourists would be coming on holiday to the islands this year, political groups and environmental organisations in Mallorca were plotting how to reduce the number of tourists. It is certainly a sign of the times.

A decade ago a record season would have been celebrated by all. These days it is cheered by a majority but not all. Junior Balearic government coalition member, Mes, who are proving to be a thorn in the side of the ruling socialists, called for a massive rise in the tourist tax. They also said it should be collected at ports and airports rather than hotels and apartment complexes. They also called on the Balearic government to abandon attending major tourist fairs because the islands no longer needed to be promoted. Also, an environmental protection group said that local residents should be given priority over visiting tourists on crowded beaches.

They also called for a curb on tourist numbers. Granted that we are talking about a small minority but they are pretty vocal and they are getting their message out. The official line is that all tourists are welcome but unofficially the local authorities fear a massive rise in tourism because it could cause a backlash locally. Tourists should not be concerned. At the end of the day the issue is “too many tourists” rather than “no tourists” but what is evidently clear is that Mallorca is saying enough is enough. I can see both points of view. Yes, Mallorca is crowded during the summer months but at the same time I appreciate the fact that tourism is our livelihood.