Balearic government looking to avoid more "saturation" of tourists.


It is of course the theme of the summer - the "saturation" of tourists - and one which Balearic tourism minister Biel Barceló wishes to avoid next summer. The government, he says, will do everything in its power to prevent there being such a volume of tourists in the high summer of 2017.

Barceló accepts that it is not possible to limit the actual number of tourists but adds that there can be a limit established on the number of tourist places (in accommodation). He concedes that next summer is likely to be much the same as this summer in terms of tourist demand for the Balearics on account of ongoing security issues in key competitor destinations.

The minister emphasises the "sustainable tourism" measures being adopted, such as the tourist tax, and says once more that the draft for legislation regarding holiday rentals will be ready by the end of the year. This, he suggests, will be one way of establishing limits on the number of tourist places.

He is also intimating that there may be two separate parts to new tourism regulation - one that will concentrate on holiday rentals - and another to focus on various matters that cause concern, such as all-inclusives, beach clubs and car rental.

Barceló and the director of the Balearic Tourism Agency, Pere Muñoz, are both referring to a desire to shift summer tourism (some at any rate) to the winter. Muñoz accepts that this will not be easy, but suggests that there could be "lines of support" for businesses to create tourist products out of the summer season. He also refers to an "action related to connectivity" (air, it would seem) that is not being defined but which will be revealed soon enough. This will not, he stresses, involve tax incentives.

In addition to changes to tourism legislation that Barceló plans, the minister also indicates that he is looking at agreements with tour operators to strengthen winter tourism, at improvements to water infrastructure (for which revenue from the tourist tax might be used) and at negotiations with the airports authority Aena regarding routes in the winter.