Officials from the Balearic Islands will try to limit cruise ships’ numbers to a maximum three vessels per day at its largest ports. This is a first-of-its-kind deal in Spain.
In a statement, the regional government stated that arrivals at Palma, Mallorca, would be limited to three cruise vessels per day. One vessel allowed to be a megacruise liner carrying over 5,000 people, will begin in 2022.
Officials called the deal historic and estimated that it would result in a 13% decrease in arrivals at one the busiest cruise ports of the Mediterranean, compared to 2019.
The long-running friction between the procession of cruise ships passing through Palma is a result of environmental concerns and the economic benefits of a sector that sees as many as eight ships arrive in the same day. This disgorges more than 22,000 people from the narrow streets of Palma’s old city.
In 2019, more than 2.6 Million cruise-ship tourists visited Balearic Islands. More than 25 organizations joined hands to call for one vessel per day to arrive with a maximum number of 4,000 tourists.
Palma’s mega-cruise ship tourism has grown in a way that is not sustainable and unfavorable for the city. This has led to increased social protest and serious environmental damage. They made the statement in a joint manifesto.
Overcrowding tourists devalues our cultural and historical heritage. It transforms urban space into a tourist attraction for visitors and degrades the tourist experience for others.
The regional government stated that the deal was more than two decades in the making.
It means that for the first-time, there is a limit on cruise ship passengers arriving to Palma. This is possible only because of the sector’s willingness to do so, Iago Ngueruela (regional official in charge of tourism and economy) said.
Similar deals were made for Dubrovnik in Croatia as well as Aalborg in Denmark, Negueruela stated to the Spanish newspaper El Pas.We were the first to do this in a port so large as Palma.
According to the government, because cruise ship arrivals were often planned months ahead, the new daily limits will include fewer than twenty exemption days in order for contracts to be honored. The limit for cruise ship arrivals will be increased to four on these days, but the number of passengers per week would be limited to 59,500.
Critics and advocates of cruise ship tourism both criticized the five-year agreement. Some, like the Platform Against MegaCruises said that little would change.
It stated that three cruise ships carrying more than 5,000 people per day are still too many for the city to bear. Regional government has missed an opportunity to make a courageous choice to protect Balearic Islands residents, their environment, health, and right to the city.
Yes to Cruises, a competitor platform, described the push to restrict the sector as an error that could lead to grave repercussions on an economy. 2015 study by port authority It was estimated that cruise tourism supported more than 5,500 jobs, and contributed 256m in indirect and direct revenues to the region.
Lex Fraile, a local tour guide, spoke out for the platform. He suggested that this would set a precedent. Is the next step to limit the arrival of aircraft at? [Mallorcas]Son Sant Joan airport .