GOB says there need to be alternatives to tourism. Any suggestions? | Archive

Tourism saturation is back on the agenda and yesterday the environmentalist group GOB launched a campaign called "OverBOOMking!" to alert the general public to the total "touristification", the new buzz word, of the islands.

According to GOB, there is a serious lack of alternative policies and that there is desperate need for a public and political debate about the tourism crisis the region is facing and to devise policies to create alternatives to mass tourism.

"We’re going to die from success and overBOOMking!" is the slogan for the campaign which has been brewing since last year when a small group of people in Palma began painting slogans around the old part of the city telling tourists to go home.

"We need strong policies to limit, contain and control tourism otherwise the region will be disfigured forever," GOB said yesterday in a statement.

This year, the tourism ministry has put a cap on the number of cruise ships which can be moored in Palma at any one time, but the limit is still six and, on the whole, people feel that is still too high. GOB fears that the islands cannot handle any more holidaymakers and that in many areas, society is paying a high price but getting very little in return.

"We are on the verge of an ecological and social breakdown. Water resources are rapidly running low and the human footprint on natural spaces is far too great. The government is unable to control the number of yachts mooring in Balearics waters, the fleet of hire cars, illegal tourism accommodation and the effect that has on employees and residents. Having an economy based on tourism is no longer viable and alternatives need to be developed before it is too late," GOB warned.