It was one of the keynote policies of the previous Balearic government, a cap on cruise ships visiting Palma. But now the Federation of Small to Medium Sized Business Associations (PIMEM) is demanding that the local authorities have a rethink because "shops are suffering". Under the present legislation and to avoid overcrowding in the city, only three cruise ships are allowed in the port at any one time. But business leaders want it abolished.

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"Tourists only come to Palma when there is bad weather and we have to survive on the local trade and visiting cruise ship passengers," the association has said in a statement. The Balearic government introduced the cap following complaints from Palma residents of overcrowding but it appears that it has hit the takings of shops, bars and restaurants.

It is has been reported that the spending by tourists this summer is lower than previous years and local businesses are feeling the pinch.