Photo: David Arquimbau
The tourism industry moves billions of euro worldwide. In 2022, the record-breaking 16.5 million tourists who visited the Balearic Islands spent close to €17.5 billion. This year, the record is likely to be broken again, with 17 billion visitors expected to visit the islands.
The European Tourism Forum, which brought together EU tourism ministers in Palma, has once again put on the tabletabled the need for this industry to evolve towards more sustainable models. It has also had as a response a social mobilisation that it cannot ignore. The slogan "less tourism, more life" reminds us of the negative implications tourism has on the territory and its people.
It is time to face uncomfortable but necessary challenges. We must have a serious debate to talk about demographic pressure, maritime traffic, decarbonisation, and the protection of nature. The natural marine and coastal areas of the Balearic Islands are one of our main tourism assets. We must assume responsibility and put resources into their conservation.
A large part of the tourism business community of the Islands is aware of this value and, alongside a large majority of civil society, supports the Balearic Blue Deal, a roadmap of action for the conservation of our seas. Government and political parties have indicated their willingness to move it forward. We must go from words to action.
As the success of tourism in the Islands is sustained by a sea in an excellent state of conservation, its benefits must be also designated for its protection.
ANIOL ESTEBAN - Director