British tourists in Punta Ballena. | M.A. CAÑELLAS


Some British newspapers have been running stories which state that Mallorca no longer wants “budget British tourists”. One newspaper accused the Balearic government of being “snobs.” As I have said on countless occasions in this space local politicians need to measure their words especially when dealing with the British media. Sentences like “we want more up-market tourists” doesn't mean that the island doesn't want tourists who go to lower grade hotels; it means that more big spending tourists would be nice for the Balearic economy. What the Balearic government have made clear is that the islands no longer want rowdy tourists of any nationality who just come here to get drunk and cause trouble - and who can blame them. Now, this message sometimes gets lost in translation, because it appears that the local authorities are operating a system of “them and us.”

Wrong again. It is is evidently clear that all British tourists are welcome, as they have always been. There is concern, obviously, over the large number of tourists who are heading to our shores of all nationalities. This is a question of volume not nationality. Over recent years the rhetoric over too many tourists has increased but, once again, this is quite normal because the islands have been enjoying record breaking seasons. There is a case for local politicians being more guarded with their comments not because they are controversial; it is more a case that they could be taken out of context. What everyone agrees on in the Balearics is that we need tourism more than it needs us and without tourism we can kiss goodbye to the excellent lifestyle we all enjoy.