Small businesses claim they need cruise passengers. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter - - EFE

The small and medium-sized businesses association Pimeco, has asked the president of the Balearic Port Authority, Francesc Antich, not to limit the daily arrival of cruise ships in Majorca after 2023, because “it is not a good time to restrict the arrival of tourists”.

During a meeting, the representatives of the business association told Antich about their concern about the decision to limit the arrival of cruise ships after two years of “a very serious” crisis due to Covid, and suggested a better management as opposed to the proposed limits.

The president of Pimeco, Toni Fuster, said that some reports suggest that the arrival of cruise ships was already being limited when “the initial agreement was that the restrictions would not begin until 2023”.

“For the survival of small businesses, tourists are vital” he stressed.

For this reason, the employers’ association has insisted that the arrival of cruise ships should not be limited after two years of “total” crisis due to the pandemic and has also warned that the war in Ukraine could affect the tourist industry and delay the economic recovery of the sector.

According to Pimeco, Antich confirmed that the limits on the entry of cruise ships will not take effect until next year and promised to pass on Pimeco’s requests to the government.
The pandemic stalled discussions about limits to the number of cruise ships and passengers in Palma.

But, talks resumed early this year. Politically, these talks mainly involve PSOE and Més.
The latter, who have historical and present associations with the environmentalist left, hold the ministry of the environment in the government.
At Palma town hall, Neus Truyol, councillor for the model of the city, will be the Més candidate for mayor at the 2023 election.

The two parties disagree over the numbers of ships and passengers per day.
PSOE are proposing three to four ships with a maximum of 10,000 passengers. Més want one or two and no more than 6,000 passengers.

But, neither the government nor the town hall has powers to establish limits.
These are for the Balearic Ports Authority (APB) to determine, which ultimately means the Spanish government - the APB is the Balearics administrative division of the State Ports.
But the wishes of the regional government and town hall will be a key factor in agreements to be reached with cruise operators.

PSOE and Més do agree on the Spanish government declaring the Bay of Palma and the Balearic Sea as an Emissions Control Zone. Truyol says that this is something the parties share with the platform against mega-cruise ships.

“It would allow us to control air quality in the bay and to adopt measures to prevent problems that pollution causes for the environment and people’s health.”
Truyol says that if agreement can be reached, the aim would be for limits to come into force next summer.