Majorca business owners beg to ditch cruise ship ban

Business owners in the Spanish city of Palma, Majorca, have called on the Balearic Government to scrap controversial cruise ship limits.

The protest follows an 18 percent fall in cruise ship passengers after the city introduced new limits which only allow three ships in its port at once.

In a statement, eight local business organisations said: “Don’t demonise cruise ship passengers, it is family tourism with a high spending power.”

The organisations include bar and restaurant owners as well as shopkeepers and tour guides who claim their profits have fallen since the limits.

Pedro Fiol, president of the Aviba travel agencies association, said the rules had been made “without foundation”, reports Majorca Daily Bulletin.

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Palma was one of a number of ports to sign up to the Cruise 2030 Call for Action in 2020. The campaign calls for more sustainable cruise tourism and the use of smaller ships.

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bergen, Cannes, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Marseille and Venice also joined the call and some have since introduced their own limits on ships.

Amsterdam banned cruise ships from the city centre in a bid to cut down on visitor numbers and pollution.

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From October 22, Barcelona will ban cruise ships from docking at its northern ports, while the city also plans to increase tourist tax for passengers.

Venice famously banned cruise ships from its lagoon in 2021. Research from the Transport & Environment group found pollution from ships fell by 80 percent following the city’s ban on large ships.

Cruise ship bans can be a difficult balancing act with business owners often left out of pocket due to the fall in visitors.

However, some experts say cruise ship passengers don’t often spend much in the cities they visit, as they can get nearly all their food and drink onboard the ship.

The Transport & Environment study found that Barcelona was Europe’s most cruise polluted city while a British city also made the top 10.

Despite concerns over the size of ships, the world’s largest cruise ship is due to launch in January although it is expected to mostly sail in the Caribbean rather than Europe.

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