As was the case with a previous survey, this one found that "saturation" is more acutely sensed in Palma than elsewhere. | CLICK


There has been another survey into so-called tourist saturation or massification. This one is part of a regular series of Ecobarometers, which are conducted by the Balearic Institute of Social Studies in association with the Obra Social La Caixa and two companies. One of these companies is Tirme, the organisation that has the monopoly on waste recycling and incineration in Majorca (it is a joint venture which includes Endesa, Iberdrola and others). The other company is Hidrobal, which manages all processes related to the complete water cycle.

The latest barometer finds tourist "massification" appearing for the first time as a public concern for the environment. It ranks second behind water and beach contamination and filth.

According to this report, those between the ages of 36 and 50 are the ones most concerned about tourist overcrowding. Residents of Palma are also concerned. The director of the survey, Gonzalo Adán, says that there is nevertheless a certain "ambivalence" towards the issue. "It's true that it's an emerging issue, but it's also seen as an opportunity to make tourism more sustainable and generate greater wealth. There needs to be a grand social pact for sustainability and the risks associated with pressure on the environment."

Problems with water are of greater concern, with almost 90% of those surveyed identifying the particular worry over declining water resources. Guillermo Carbonero, the director of Hidrobal in the Balearics, recognises that the public is aware of the problems of drought, over-exploitation of aquifers and water quality.

The director general of Tirme, Rafael Guinea, suggests that the survey shows that individuals have a certain personal disassociation from environmental problems, i.e. these problems are caused by others and not by themselves. On recycling, Guinea accepts that there needs to be greater transparency so that the public has more confidence in it.

Gonzalo Adán was the director of a similar survey that was reported in August. A finding of that survey was that 64% believes that "massification" has more advantages than disadvantages. Saturation was felt to be temporary but at the same time it was offering opportunities, especially economic ones.