Majorca in crisis as business owner issues warning after overtourism protests

1 week ago 5

Many locals in Majorca have warned they are being priced out of their homes because of overtourism.

By Alice Scarsi, World News Reporter

14:23, Tue, Jun 11, 2024 | UPDATED: 14:23, Tue, Jun 11, 2024

Protesters in a march against overtourism

Thousands in Majorca have protested against overtourism in recent weeks (Image: GETTY)

A business owner in Majorca has opened up on concerns sparked by the wave of protests against overtourism that have swept through the Balearic island.

Javier Vich, the president of the Palma Hoteliers Association and CEO of the Summum Hotel Group, revealed he is concerned about the impact on tourists being deterred from visiting the Spanish island when they see reports of growing overtourism protests, according to Majorca Daily Bulletin. 

He, himself, admitted he would not visit a place where he perceived there to be animosity towards tourists and outlined what worked needed to be done.

He told the Spanish news outlet: "There are clients who ask at reception what is happening on the streets, especially because the most sensationalist press give us headlines every day. It is true that we have a problem. The hotel sector said ten years ago that it could not grow any further in volume. We all now have a responsibility to say where we want to go, but to do so responsibly."

In late May, thousands of protesters took their frustration to the streets of Palma, lamenting the huge issues created by overtourism - overcrowding, higher cost of living and a major strain on the local infrastructure.

On June 1, a smaller group of protesters headed to Majorca's beaches to "occupy" them and claim them back from tourists.

More large protests happened over the weekend in both Majorca and Menorca. The Spanish national police said around 10,000 protesters gathered in Majorca, while a few hundred marched in Menorca.

Many locals stressed they welcome "sustainable tourism" but are fed up with being priced out of their homes as high demands for short-term lets make mortgages and rents unaffordable.

Mr Vich acknowledged some of the issues created by overtourism, saying: "It is very difficult to build a destination and very easy to destroy it.

People during a march in Majorca

Majorca welcomes millions of tourists every year (Image: GETTY)

"The main problem we have here is the lack of housing, roads, parking, sewage treatment plants plus the supply of illegal holiday rentals. We cannot leave demographic growth out of the debate, as it is a key factor."

Speaking about the marches, he added: "Now that discontent has been expressed on the streets, work must be done on addressing it, never forgetting that we have always been hospitable."

The Balearics aren't the only Spanish holiday hotspot to have seen discontent on overtourism being expressed.

In April, tens of thousands flooded the streets of Tenerife's capital to voice their anger at uncontrolled tourism.

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