Home World Balearics on the brink of collapse as holiday hotspots overwhelmed

Balearics on the brink of collapse as holiday hotspots overwhelmed

Residents in the Balearics are demanding an end to mass tourism, as local communities stand on the brink of collapse from the huge influx of visitors.

The Mediterranean archipelago is a hugely popular destination for foreign visitors, attracting millions of sun lovers every year.

Last year it was the second most visited place in Spain after Barcelona, with the Canary Islands third.

Some 14.4 million tourists descended on the islands, an increase of 9.1 percent from the previous year.

The ever-growing numbers of visitors are placing a huge strain on municipal infrastructure and causing growing anger in local communities.

Locals complain regularly about congested roads, full buses and crowded beaches, saying tourism is making their lives a misery.

Residents in Soller are seething over massive traffic jams and fear worse is to come as the high season approaches.

Kilometres-long car queues at the entry and exit points to the town and at the port are becoming a daily occurrence, forcing people to wait hours before they can reach their homes.

Furious locals have taken to social media to vent their anger at the unbearable situation.

One wrote: “If you live in Mallorca, you will be stuck from May to September. They’re selling us the idea that we live off tourism, but they force us to live for it.

“The same situation has been going on for more than four days and we are still not in the high season, this is unbearable.”

Another said: “It’s time to go for a sustainable tourism model, to say enough to overcrowding, to take into account the residents and the environment. It’s time to stop this situation.”

The growing anger is forcing local authorities to take action in a bid to calm the public mood.

Marga Prohens, the President of the Balearic Government, admitted that the islands had “reached their limit” and that “we cannot grow anymore”.

She announced a public consultation with local communities and grassroots organisations to try and reach a consensus about the way forward.

Activists are organising a Civil Society Tourism Congress on June 26 at which they will discuss proposals to reduce tourist numbers.

These include cutting down on tourist accommodation and placing limits on the size of cruise ships that can visit the islands.

Issues such as climate change, water preservation and the protection of the environment will also be on the agenda.

Jaume Garau, one of the organisers of the conference, said: “There is a general feeling in Mallorca that we have gone too far and we have to take a step back.”


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