Has too much been made of the "saturation"of tourists in Palma? | Miquel A. Cañellas


Mayor José Hila and councillor Joana Maria Adrover (tourism, trade and employment) presented figures on Monday to show that summer employment in the city has been recovering to levels that existed in 2008 before economic crisis took hold.

Both mayor and councillor referred to the positive signs for employment and employers in the city, Hila observing that there has been a lengthening of the peak tourism season. This, he noted, was a good thing in that it provides more jobs.

As has been well reported, the increased tourism activity in the city has supposedly brought with it a downside as well as plusses in the form of jobs.Too many tourists have been making residents feel overwhelmed by their presence - the so-called saturation. Hila, however, did not believe that there was such a saturation. He accepted that in certain parts of the centre of the city residents may feel overwhelmed. But he didn't consider the increased numbers to necessarily be a bad thing, noting that Augusts of the past have produced similar situations.

He pointed to the introduction of different access points to the city for cruise-ship passengers as being a means of alleviating sensations of being overwhelmed, but his message was probably as political as it was social. While he was on holiday in August, Aurora Jhardi of Som Palma (Hila is with PSOE) stood in as acting mayor and announced that it was "clearer than ever" that Palma had reached its limit when it comes to tourism. She insisted that the time had come to "minimise the damage".