Palma's tourism strategy is based on quality and not quantity. | T. AYUGA


As had been planned, there have been discussions between Balearics and cruise operator representatives at the Seatrade Europe fair in Hamburg, which ends on Friday. These discussions are designed to bring about regulation of cruise ships in Palma, one possibility being a limit to the number of ships on any given day.

The delegation from the Balearics was headed by tourism minister Iago Negueruela, Palma's mayor José Hila, and the president of the Balearic Ports Authority, Joan Gual de Torrella. Meetings have been held with leading cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean, and with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). A spokesperson for the CLIA said that the association is pleased to be able to enter into dialogue with representatives of institutions in the Balearics and added that the first meeting held on Wednesday had been a "good starting point for guaranteeing sustainability" in Palma.

Negueruela expressed his satisfaction, highlighting the importance of finding a framework for control of tourism. "We need to see how we can limit a tourism activity (cruise ships) which has grown exponentially in recent years and therefore establish control to make visitors feel comfortable and to meet sustainability objectives."

Hila said that Palma's tourism strategy is based on quality and not quantity. An overcrowded destination "isn't good for the companies (cruise operators) or for the city". The operators, he argued, should not exceed certain limits, "as beyond these limits tourists start to feel that they don't like the destination".

A calendar for future meetings has been set.