Tourist pressure: what's the cause? | Archive


Exceltur is the alliance for touristic excellence, a select organisation and lobby group of leading companies in the travel and tourism industry, some of which are top hotel chains in Majorca.

A regular producer of reports, Exceltur's latest shows that Palma is one of Spain's cities with the highest "tourist pressure" ratio. This pressure is measured in relation to the resident population and land area, and in Palma's case is said to give an 8.1% rating based on the annual number of tourists. The global average is 7.4%, and there are five cities with a higher percentage than Palma - Granada, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Santiago de Compostela and Alicante.

Exceltur says that the greatest pressure occurs on specific days when tourists who do not stay in the city converge on it and when there are also cruise ship passengers. The organisation adds that social reaction to tourism is in places with the highest levels of tourist pressure. This was the case last summer in Palma, where there was an outbreak of so-called "tourismphobia".

The principal factor contributing to this tourist pressure, according to Exceltur, is the number of apartments that have been converted into holiday accommodation. All the cases of protests against tourism have been in cities where the number of tourists in holiday rental accommodation is greater than the number in "regulated" accommodation, e.g. hotels.

The report points out that for a time there was an average of 21,589 tourists who on a daily basis were staying in accommodation publicised by rental websites. This compared with 6,759 in the regulated accommodation and 4,469 cruise ship passengers.

This is the latest Exceltur announcement that places the blame for "tourist saturation" on holiday rentals. Aptur, the holiday rentals association in the Balearics, insists that rentals are not the source of saturation.

Although a number of leading hotel companies are members of Exceltur, other sectors are represented and are among ones which are typically more supportive of holiday rentals, such as car hire.