They are stressing that their request for a moratorium applies to Majorca capital of Palma only and does not mean they are against any cruise liners coming into the port after this date. The government simply feels that it doesn’t want places booked up now as their hands would be tied over regulating just how many ships come into the popular port at a level they want to choose over the next year or so. The official request has been made to Spain’s Port Authority and, if approved, will be the first of its kind in the Spanish ports.
A statement issued by the Balearic Government confirmed: “The Minister of Economic Model, Tourism and Labour, Iago Negueruela, and Environment and Territory, Miquel Mir, have informed the State of the efforts of the Government to regulate the arrival of cruise ships to the ports of Balearic Islands.
“Both councillors have announced that the Government will request the Balearic Port Authority (APB) to not confirm any berthing reservation for any cruise from January 1, 2022. This request is limited only to the port of Palma and the objective is to have a sufficient time frame to continue negotiations with the sector, in search of an agreement that allows regulating and limiting the activity, achieving a effective and real staggering on the scales in Palma .”
“Meetings are being held at the highest level and in a coordinated manner, including with Palma council and the Cruise Lines International Association.”
The Balearic Government says it is confident of “reaching an agreement with the shipping companies” and stressed that it is a measure aimed at “protecting our main sector and achieving a more sustainable tourism”.
“In a context of climatic emergency and in a particularly vulnerable territory such as the Balearic Islands, the Government has taken several environmental measures in a transversal manner and one of them is to request this moratorium, becoming the first autonomous community that claims it,” said Miquel Mir.
The aim of the Balearic Government is to stagger arrivals in the capital of Palma, one of the most polluted destinations, and “share” some of the liners with other destinations such as Alcudia in the north of Mallorca.
Officials have previously admitted that the next step from this will be to “set a ceiling” on the number of cruise ships coming into the islands.
Last summer, the Palma XXI organisation launched a petition calling for a limit on cruise liners and passengers in Palma and gathered more than 11,000 signatures. Campaigners want just one liner per day, with a maximum of 4,000 passengers disembarking.
In Ibiza, up to four cruise ships can arrive at the same time and it is even worse in Palma which can see as many as eight liners a day.
“Mega cruise ship tourism has increased in a way that is unsustainable and undesirable for our city, leading to serious environmental impact and increasing social protest,” they said.
If the new measures are approved, the Balearics would follow the example of Dubrovnik in Croatia which was also suffering over-crowding.
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