Explorer Of The Seas, one of the mega cruise ships to have come to Palma.

14-06-2015G. Alomar

The Balearic tourism minister, Biel Barceló, has asked the Balearic Ports Authority and cruise-ship operators to avoid a repetition of what occurred on 5 May when there were eight cruise ships docked in Palma. This led, Barceló notes, to overcrowding in Palma city centre.

The minister made this request at the most recent meeting with CLIA Europe, the cruise-liners' association, at which Majorca's Chamber of Commerce and the Palma 365 Foundation were also represented. Referring to the eight ships in early May, Barceló says that these gave a sense of the city being overwhelmed, especially because of a concentration of ships in a relatively limited timeframe. "We must regulate in order that there are no more than four ships. I have let the operators know this."

However, the response from the cruise industry has not been what the government would like to hear. It is not about to accept the limit, Barceló adding that the operators are interested only in the volume of people that they move and so do not appreciate the problem of overcrowding in the old part of Palma. "What we ask is that there is more organisation and distribution of stopovers during a weekly period. The ports authority has been more receptive to this, despite the investments that have been made to attract more of the cruise-ship market share.

Barceló says that he understands that this is an industry driven by supply and demand, but insists that, above all, there is sustainable development of Palma as a cruise-tourism destination. This, he argues, requires greater planning in order to avoid overcrowding.

The minister welcomes moves by the town hall to take cruise passengers to different parts of Palma rather than their all leaving the port from the same spot and following much the same route. He points out that there has been no study to determine what would be an ideal number of passengers and so accepts that the figure of four ships is subjective. "But there has to be planning. The cruise ships are getting larger and so is the number of passengers."

Although the government would like there to be some sort of daily limit, Barceló stresses that the government has nothing against cruise tourism. It recognises that it has an economic impact, and so is a strategic tourism sector, but it is looking for some rationality.

On Monday, the largest cruise ship of all, the Harmony Of The Seas, will be docking in Palma.

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Andy Rawson / Hace over 4 years

Yet another Balearic tourism minister who hasn't got a clue.

+2-

Bernie / Hace over 4 years

After one day with 8 ships and probably 20.000 guests and 10.000 crew members, who all spend money locally one way or the other, Mallorca wants to limit the cruise ship calls per day. Why not at the same time stop all the flights to PMI as they also bring tourists, and while we are at it ensure that all the car rental places only rent 4 cars per day to keep our streets free. I find it hilarious, as so much time, money and effort is spend to attract tourism to the island and when it finally works, Mallorca gets cold feet. I say get a your act together, embrace that Mallorca is a great cruise ship destination and put logistic solutions into place rather than limiting the ships and enjoy the fact that our beautiful island gets more exposure.

+3-

Steve Riches / Hace over 4 years

Pesky tourists - just leave us alone and spend your money elswwhere. This island would be so pleasant if you left us alone. Signed: Snr. Barcelo.

+1-

Ron / Hace over 4 years

Years were spent trying to attract the cruises here, now this government doesn't want them. They need to be negotiating now to suggest schedules for 2018/19, (too late for next year!), asking why all those American owned cruise lines have to coincide here on a Tuesday. The number of ports of call in the Med. are limited. There are more cruises this year because Tunisia has been dropped. Palma is ideally placed, but I fear more ships will be stopping elsewhere, once the word gets out that we don't want them. Why make such a fuss for this summer? There are very few cruises coming here in winter.

+4-

Sheila / Hace over 4 years

It will be too late to change the cruise line itineraries.Next years glossy brochures and dates in port are already out and bookings taken. Why are they so slow here in foreseeing problems? By the way,three weeks to go till tourist tax day. Where are the listed schedule of charges and exemptions ,who to collect it ,how to pay it in? Answers on a postcard please! pp

+8-

paul / Hace over 4 years

Yet again the government seem intent on alienating tourists/cruise ship operators, having spent so much money upgrading the port why now consider this limit. Surely they should be looking at ways to solve the problem. I suspect the cruise ship owners/operators will just skip the Balearic's as a stopover completely if this is implemented, no doubt there are plenty of other ports willing to accept them.

+1-