Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’
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The Balearic Government and Cruise Lines International agreed that only three cruise ships would be allowed in Palma, Majorca’s capital, per day. The deal is due to come into effect in 2022.
Just one of the three boats will be allowed to be a ‘mega-ship’ with capacity for more than 5,000 passengers.
Palma’s tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, said: “It means setting for the first time a real limit to the arrival of cruise passengers to Palma, something that would not have been possible without the will of the sector.”
The shipping companies involved in the deal have also agreed on a number of environmental measures.
The Platform Against Mega-Cruise Ships, has said it is disappointed with the proposed plan, according to Majorca Daily Bulletin.
It said the announcement did not go far enough after “more than two and a half years demanding limits on a tourism model with very high environmental, health and social impacts on the city.”
Palma is the capital of Majorca and is the first Spanish destination to achieve a deal on cruise ship numbers.
The plan should see the city receive at least 14.5 percent fewer cruise ship arrivals than in 2019.
The agreement has been set for the next five years and cruise ship companies are making an effort to change their schedules.
However, the opponents said that three ships a day was “still a very high figure for what the city can bear, given the enormous pollution from these ships”.
The group also said that the arrival of 6,000-7,000 people in Palma from cruise ships will cause overcrowding in public spaces.
It said that the Government had “missed the opportunity to make a courageous decision to safeguard the inhabitants of the Balearics, their environment, their health and their right to the city”.
It added: “(The agreement will mean) five years of air pollution, five years of gases that are harmful to the public health of residents and passengers, five years of unbearable human pressure, five years against the 2030 Agenda.”
The impact of cruise ships on city ports has been a hot debate topic over the last few years.
Large ships can have a larger carbon footprint than 12,000 cars, according to scientists.
One study found that a one night stay on a cruise ship required 12 times the energy of a stay in a hotel.
On land, many residents believe that regular cruise ship dockings cause overcrowding and pollution.
As many cruise guests eat and shop onboard, they are unlikely to spend much money on a day trip.
Palma isn’t the only tourist destination cracking down on cruise liners. Venice has announced a ban on cruise ships.
The Belgian city of Bruges has also put limits on cruise ships in a bid to prevent the city becoming like ‘Disneyland’.
Dubrovnik, Santorini and Amsterdam are also considering introducing more limits on cruise liners.
Additonal reporting by Rita Sobot.
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