The manager of a hotel in Majorca is concerned about anti-tourism protests
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The manager of a hotel in Majorca is concerned about anti-tourism protests

A leading hotelier in Mallorca has admitted that he is concerned about the impact of protests against mass tourism on the island’s economy.

Javier Vich, president of the Palma Hoteliers Association and CEO of Summum Hotel Group, fears that fewer travelers will book holidays in the Balearic Islands after reading reports of protests on the streets and beaches of Palma.

During one large-scale demonstration at the end of May, almost 10,000 people marched through the streets of Mallorca’s capital, carrying posters saying “SOS Residents” and “Enough of mass tourism” – and such events can influence where tourists choose to stay. go on holiday, Mr. Vich thinks.

He says he wouldn’t go to a place where he didn’t feel welcome: “A destination is very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.”

Protesters hold a banner saying
Protesters hold a banner saying “Mallorca is not for sale” (AFP via Getty Images)

Some travelers currently visiting Majorca seem concerned about what may happen during their stay, as there have been other protests on beaches and there is a risk of airports being seized.

“There are customers who ask at the reception what is happening on the streets,” adds Mr. Vich. “It’s true we have a problem.”

Although tourism generates about 45 percent of the Balearic Islands’ gross domestic product, according to industry body Exceltur, demonstrators say holiday rentals force locals to pay for accommodation.

Carme Reines, from the collective that organized the protest in Palma de Mallorca, said: “We want the authorities to stop people who haven’t lived here for more than five years from buying properties and introduce more control over holiday accommodation.”

And if the collective doesn’t get its way, further action is planned. Further demonstrations are planned for June 16 in Palma, and plans are being discussed for protests in the Balearic Islands – Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera – on July 21.

Even if a small percentage of travelers stay away due to protests, this could mean thousands of fewer bookings. The Spanish National Statistics Institute reported that last year the Balearic Islands were the second most popular region in Spain for tourists, after Catalonia, attracting 14.4 million holidaymakers.

About 18 million tourists visited Catalonia, followed by the Canary Islands – 13.9 million people.