Balearic airports recently registered over one million passengers in four days. | Teresa Ayuga


David Abril of Més has restated points made by tourism minister Biel Barceló regarding the establishing of a ceiling on the number of tourist places in the Balearics. Saying that this is needed in order to prevent overcrowding and a "negative impact" on the islands, Abril singles out holiday rental accommodation. "Just as there has been an historical ceiling for hotel places, so we will proceed with regulating tourist rentals. There will have to be regulation of tourist places."

Abril admits that there is a long way to go in achieving this, but in order to do so he says "we have to be brave and bring forward forceful measures". As an example, Abril points to the tourist tax. It has not been negative, he insists, and believes that it could have been higher "and would not have been noticed".

There need to be, in his estimation, "containment measures" in order to stop there being "Magallufs and massive tourism", which everyone is rejecting. However, until the Balearics has "sovereignty" over the airport, he accepts that it will be difficult to exercise real control of the tourism model that Més wants for the Balearics. Were there to be this airport management, decisions could then be taken as to the number of tourists and as to what times of year that they come.

Also on the airport (Palma's, that is), Abril has announced that Més will be presenting a parliamentary motion that "rejects the privatisation" of public areas that is turning the airport into "the biggest runway shop in Europe". Ultimately, Abril says, airports end up being more like shopping centres than airports. "Almost half of the commercial space at the airport" is devoted to shops.

The management of these businesses is currently in the hands of the Swiss company Dufry. "The people of the islands want tourists, but the Swiss want business."

Més is to urge the national ministry for development and the airports authority Aena to create "more friendly areas", such as those for reading, children's recreation or simply ones for walking. It was a shame, he suggested, that a superstore was opened at the airport when at the same there was a play centre being inaugurated at Madrid's terminal four.

In addition to all the shops giving off a bad image (including those promoting the sale of alcohol and tobacco), Abril believes the sheer volume of passengers does as well. Pointing to there having been a record of 1,024 flights in 24 hours last month, this leads to waiting times of an hour per passenger.