President Armengol said yesterday that tourist and economic data in the Balearics are "very positive", that the tourism season has been extended to nine months and that "the people are living better" than they did under the Partido Popular government.
Armengol pointed to increased hotel occupancy and numbers of workers in the hotel sector. She added that in the first two months of the year there had been a four per cent increase in tourist arrivals. She stressed a commitment to quality of the tourism offer and the need for a redistribution of wealth created by tourism in support of a model that will be "sustainable".
Marga Prohens, the PP spokesperson, advised the president that she should start to pay attention to figures and to react to them. Prohens referred specifically to a 22% fall in the sale of holiday packages for the summer season, contrasting this with 50% increases for Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
Prohens criticised the government's derogation of the PP's tourism law under which 1,500 million euros had been invested in upgrading hotels and 6,500 jobs had been created. She said that the PP would reinstate this when (if) it returns to government in the Balearics.
On another matter, cruise ships, Armengol observed that Palma town hall and the Balearic Ports Authority are working together on staggering cruise ships. She was responding to Laura Camargo of Podemos, who wanted to know about discussions for limiting the arrival of giant cruise ships. The president noted that this is a responsibility of the state and that the government's model "is not that of giant cruise ships". It is instead "more quality than quantity" along with "sustainable tourism, a lengthening of the season and quality employment".
Camargo argued that it is necessary to fix a maximum number of cruise ships and referred to the "massification" of Palma when the giant cruise ship Symphony of the Seas docked. She said that there is a lack of control over tourist points of entry to the Balearics.
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