A new shopping mall will be available at Palma airport like the one in Barcelona. | XAVIER CERVERA/LA VANGUARDIA


The first week of July and you can see that the island is hotting up in more ways than one. Without doubt, it hasn’t been as busy earlier in the season, which may be down to Easter falling so early, but things have certainly kicked in now, The supermarket I visit every Sunday wasn’t the usual in-out experience this week. The car park was overflowing and people were queuing for a trolley to actually go in with. I’ll make sure I go earlier next week to avoid the crowds.

So here we go, ten weeks of madness, and then we’ll all be able to breathe again. This is the time when it gets too hot, parking will become a nightmare, getting a taxi will be as rare an England winning a trophy, and you’ll be lucky if you get a restaurant reservation.

I go back to my point in another piece, that whilst Mallorca does get busy and probably too much so in the high season, the reality is it is only for 3 to 4 months. That also doesn’t make it right, but no Government since I’ve been here has managed to solve it. Now, this is the third time I’ve mentioned my interview with Brad Robertson of Save The Med a few weeks ago. When I asked him what can we do about “Tourismphobia” his words still resonate. “There’s too many people mate, whether you’re a tourist or someone that doesn’t leave your house, it doesn’t matter, there’s just too many of us”.

With that in mind, an interesting report came out this week that according to the Institute of National Statistics, 2.3 million visitors stayed with family and friends or possible illegal rentals and just under 1 million used their second homes here in the Baleares in 2023. That’s 20% of the overall tourist numbers are actually contributing to the islands’ so-called overcrowding problem, but the blame is being put at the hotelier’s door. I would imagine most of those visiting though will be contributing to the island’s economy through shops, bars and restaurants. In some cases, much more than a visitor to an all-inclusive hotel. There’s one hotel that shall remain nameless that is glad to see their guests go out and enjoy the facilities of the resort, as the guests are eating and drinking more than they bargained for.

So whilst I have every sympathy with the protesters saying, “movement for less tourism, more quality of life”. We as a population are not helping the matter. Their next protest will take place in Palma on July 21st. I wonder how many of those protesters will have people staying with them, rent a property illegally, have a second home, or who are working in tourism?

Whilst all this is going on, the owners of Palma airport are pushing on with their expansion plans. We learned this week that a shopping mall likened to the one in Barcelona airport is being built, and they are building a new security area which will become Europe’s biggest. No sign of tourism cut back there then. It will be interesting to see over the coming months what the current government’s plans are for the island’s biggest industry. As anything they do now won’t come into effect until next year.