Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2024
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Cruise ship warning as Majorca announces another tourist crackdown on beautiful city | Travel News | Travel

Majorca has moved to cap the number of cruise ships that dock at the popular holiday destination. The Venice-style ban comes as the Balearic island desperately tries to curb the number of tourists flocking to Majorca

Over-tourism has become a serious concern for officials on the island, with a growing local backlash against holidaymakers. More than two million Brits visit the Spanish island each year.

The Committee on Tourism, Trade, Employment, Culture and Sport agreed this week to reintroduce a cap on cruise ships to Palma, the island’s capital. The Balearic Government will now work to reach a deal with the cruise lines ahead of the hectic summer months.

The island previously capped the number of cruise ship arrivals to three a day in May 2022. Only one of the three cruise ships could have a capacity of more than 5,000 passengers.

The cap proposal has received support in the Spanish capital Madrid. Earlier this year, a group of Spanish politicians urged a stricter regulatory framework for cruise ships. The politicians wanted to impose a new set of rules over taxation, fuel use, and the environment.

Palma is one of the top cruise ship ports in the Mediterranean, attracting more than 2.5 million passengers per year, including some of the biggest cruise ships in the world.

If the cap is implemented, Majorca would be the latest European port city to take action against cruise liners. 

In 2021, Venice barred large cruise ships from anchoring in its historic centre, citing damage to the lagoon. UNESCO had threatened to put the city on its endangered list unless the cruise ships were permanently banned. Experts warned that the huge ships were eroding the foundations of the city, which already suffers from regular flooding.

Barcelona closed its north terminal to cruises in October last year while the Amsterdam city council voted to shut down its cruise terminal in a bid to curb pollution and reduce tourist numbers.

In 2022, 50,000 people in Marseille – France’s biggest cruise port – signed a petition against cruise ships.

Every year, more than 20 million passengers take a cruise.

Campaigners argue that cruise ships are not only a risk to sustainable tourism but also a threat to the environment.

The 218 cruise ships operating in Europe in 2022 emitted over four times more sulphur oxides than all of the continent’s cars, according to the NGO Transport & Environment.

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