Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Beautiful island overrun by tourists where locals are threatening to block the airport

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun13,2024

Protesters against over-tourism have ramped up their threats to blockade their airport during the summer peak on their beautiful island.

Protestors are threatening to paralyse the Palma airport as demonstrations in Mallorca continue to ravage the island loved by tourists. The ‘Less Tourism, More Life’ activists plan to descend on Palma Son Sant Joan airport and want to bring it to a standstill. 

Those organising the protests have threatened that they could “collapse” the airport – the third largest in Spain which welcomed 31.3 million passengers last year, 1.4 million more than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 

The strategy also involves causing traffic ­gridlock outside the airport during the peak summer months, The Times reported.

The groups have also discussed possibly blocking those areas known for its tourist “saturation”, including the port, the Caló des Moro and Es Trenc beaches.

Climate activist Pere Joan Femenia warned the demonstration was a shared social response to overtourism.

Margalida Ramis, president of an environmentalist group, reportedly said: “Collective strength is necessary for obtaining an immediate, medium-term and also long-term response.” 

However, Jaume Bauza Mayol, the Balearic Islands tourism minister, responded: “It is a proposal that has no place in a society like the one we live in today, a measure that is currently classified as a crime.” 

He likened the plan to the actions of a Catalan ­pro-independence group that besieged ­El Prat airport in Barcelona in 2019, and said the police and security forces would deal with the “containment of the action”.

Maria Frontera, the island’s Hoteliers Federation president, called for a “strategic plan” to tackle tourist overcrowding, saying that “we are in a critical situation”

She added that current problems are not new and that hoteliers have been calling for “a transformation process” for several years.

“Seeking a balance of coexistence between residents and visitors has long been an issue on these islands,” she warned. “We all saw it and we have asked that it be managed better. But governments tend to be more reactive than preventive.” 

About 10,000 protesters took to the streets of the Majorcan capital Palma last weekend in an attempt to force a curb on tourism. Among their complaints were Airbnb-style rentals undermining the right to affordable housing, scarce water being used to fill swimming pools and roads being congested with holidaymakers’ cars.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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