by Staff Reporter

NEARLY 70 per cent of the people who live in the Balearics consider that too many tourists visit the islands and numbers should be reduced.
This was revealed in a survey conducted by Gadeso, which warned that the figure should not be interpreted as a rejection of tourists but rather as a perception of saturation in determined amenities or areas such as the beaches during the high season.

A better distribution of the number of tourists, that is, spreading them out over a longer season instead of being concentrated in a few months in summer, is one of the measures which all those consulted felt was necessary.

The sensation of too many tourists is highest in Minorca (70 per cent of the population), followed by Majorca (69.5 per cent), Formentera (66 per cent) and Ibiza (63 per cent).

The general evaluation of tourism is positive, according to 75 per cent of the population as a whole (70 per cent in Majorca and Minorca, 80 per cent in Ibiza and Formentera). However, only 45 per cent of those consulted in the survey feel that the current model of tourism is beneficial for the community.

Although tourism is seen as a basic factor in the current standard of living (63 per cent) and a basic element in job creation (57.2 per cent), in Majorca, tourism is seen to generate seasonal employment.

In Minorca, there is a fear of the Majorcan model of tourism being reproduced.
Taking up too much land and the loss of identity are other objections expressed by 64.2 and 54.5 per cent respectively. Majorca and Minorca are the islands most sensitive to the occupation of land (71.3 and 71.4 per cent), while Formentera and Minorca are the most concerned about the loss of identity (58 and 64.5 per cent).

As to tourist products which could help to extend the season beyond the summer months, the survey indicates congresses (80 per cent), cycletourism (77 per cent), cruises (75 per cent) and cultural tourism (70 per cent) should be promoted more.

They are followed at a distance by nautical tourism (49 per cent) and golf (43 per cent).