Responding to opposition questions regarding proposals for cruise ships in Palma, tourism minister Iago Negueruela told parliament on Tuesday that measures will be taken to protect tourism in the Balearics and to ensure that tourists themselves have a positive experience.
The minister added that "defending tourism is to make tourism sustainable", attacking the Partido Popular for only understanding the word "exploitation" in terms of natural resources.
Negueruela said that there was "plenty of time" to arrive at an agreement with cruise operators for regulating cruise ship arrivals and for doing so without raising alarm in the cruise sector. New measures, he suggested, will be "prudent" and "seek to avoid legal insecurity".
Maria Salomé Cabrera of the PP said that the moratorium on docking* from 2022 has generated alarm, uncertainty, indignation and great concern for the cruise industry. Operators will choose to go to other ports, she argued, in denouncing the "cruise ship-phobia" of both the minister and President Armengol and in regretting the lack of confidence shown in cruise lines by the government. She wanted to know if the government will attend the next cruise ship fair in Miami in order to ask that no more ships are sent to Palma, just as the government did at the fair in Hamburg.
* Described as a "moratorium", in practice the Balearic Ports Authority will apply criteria in granting permissions to dock rather than these being automatic, which is the case at present.