The Balearic Minister for Economic Model, Tourism and Employment, Iago Negueruela, said in an interview with Europa Press on Sunday that “excess tourism or drunk tourism“is one of the” main challenges “it faces in improving the quality of certain tourist areas in the Balearic Islands.
The Minister noted that this summer has been different from others in terms of pictures of this “tourism of excess or intoxication”. He was “much more controlled”. It would be possible to find such images in any tourist destination. Even so, the emphasis is on preventing excess tourism in areas specified by regional regulations. “They are designed to end this type of tourism and will take full effect next year once Covid has passed.”
In January 2020, the government of the Balearic Islands approved its Decree Law against excess tourism in specific tourist areas. “It’s a pretty tough rule,” Negueruela admitted.
He commended the efforts of companies to transform these areas and stressed that the public sector will support them and work with them to achieve this and to ensure that “the type of images is no longer produced”.
In addition to regulations such as those contained in the decree, Negueruela indicated that European funds should also allow improvements in “mature” tourist areas, with significant progress in parts of Mallorca and Ibiza.
More broadly, the minister mentioned the fact that 85% of air traffic in the islands was recovered in July and August. Palma Son Sant Joan Airport handled the most passengers from Spanish airports for much of the summer. “The importance of tourism for our islands has been clarified. “
The Balearic Islands’ tourism leadership over the summer was partly due, he said, to the slow de-escalation of Covid restrictions – slower than in other parts of the country.
By 2022, the intention is “clear” and it is a question of returning to the high figures recorded in the years preceding the crisis. However, there must be more sustainable and better quality tourism. “We need to focus on quality and not so much on the volume. We have seen that depending on volume also brings its risks. “
At Brexit, Negueruela felt that its possible effect on tourism in the Balearic Islands has been “resolved”, noting that there is no problem. The UK continues to be one of the main markets and the relationship between the Balearics and the UK is “fundamental”. This has been maintained thanks, in part, to direct communication efforts with the UK.
“They trust our islands, and they have proven it by being one of the markets that has recovered the most.” In this regard, he praised the fact that the islands have practically monopolized British tourists come to Spain as well as Germans. “More or less one in three foreign tourists came to the Balearic Islands this summer.”
* The decree-law excess tourism applies to specific parts of Magalluf, Playa de Palma and Arenal (Llucmajor) in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza.