Formentor traffic congestion. | Archive


Mallorca is part of the UN World Tourism Organization's network of observatories for sustainable tourism, and the island's observatory is to begin to provide data on traffic in Mallorca at the end of this month. This will be the first of six indicators for which the observatory will provide data available to the general public. These indicators are mobility, waste management, water resources, flows of visitors, occupancy and land use planning. By March next year, all these indicators are scheduled to be operational.

Director for tourism at the Council of Mallorca, Joan Gaspar Vallori, says that this particular indicator will give information such as the total numbers of private cars and of hire cars and roads' carrying capacities. "The aim is to paint a real picture of what is happening in order to take the necessary measures to manage flows. We are aware that we are going to get surprises (for better and for worse). Until now, we have made decisions based on what we believed. From now on, decisions will be made based on real data and predictive models that will help advance decision-making, both in the public and private sectors."

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"We will be handling all kinds of information. For example, we know that on rainy days in Germany more flights to Mallorca are bought. We know that traffic jams do not only occur in summer, so we will look to measure when and where they occur. We know that we have 98 cars for every 100 residents in the Balearics and that Escorca has a population of 208 people but 3,524 registered vehicles. Not all town halls charge the same registration taxes. The cheapest ones create a pull effect for hire cars."

One of the big problems faced by the observatory with regard to traffic has been the absence of meters on Mallorca's roads. "When we started, we found that there were no data or that data only existed at very specific points where the traffic directorate has traffic viewers. We have now made a request to be able to paint a real map that allows us to interpret and predict traffic flows."