Protesters threaten Mallorca airport 'blockade' ahead of another tourism demo in Spain

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
Protesters threaten Mallorca airport 'blockade' ahead of another tourism demo in Spain
Mallorcans plan mass protests against overtourism. Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

Activists on the Spanish island of Mallorca have warned of plans to 'collapse' Palma airport ahead of mass protests against overtourism scheduled across the Balearics in the upcoming days.


The Mallorcan activist group Menys Turisme, més vida, meaning ‘Less tourism, more life’ has threatened it would cause the “collapse” of the airport, during a recent meeting of protestors to gather ideas for concrete actions against overtourism on the island.

More than 300 people attended the meeting, where the most popular solution according to reports by local daily Ultima Hora was to create a blockade at Son Sant Joan Airport, just outside the capital of Palma, and the main entry point for visitors to the Balearics.

Members were warned of the dangers involved in such a demonstration and the legal consequences involved, so protestors have also proposed the creation of a resistance fund to pay for any possible fines.

Limiting the availability of rental cars, regulating access to housing, uniting unions and appropriating public spaces, were other actions that were proposed during the debate.

PP spokesperson in the Balearic Parliament Sebastiá Sagreras told local daily Diario de Mallorca that his right-wing party was against the blockade as "it would end up affecting people who aren't at fault such as residents and tourists", and that the Socialist party in the Balearics were responsible for not doing enough to stem the rise in illegal tourist apartments in recent years.

At the end of the assembly, the organisers also announced that a "massive" demonstration would be planned, although no further date was set.

This comes on the back several more anti-tourism demonstrations which are due to take place across the Balearic Islands over the next week.

On Saturday May 25th, the largest protest will take place at 7pm in Plaza de España in Palma, under the motto 'Mallorca is not for sale'.

Menorcans will also be demonstrating on the same day and time at Plaza de la Constitución in Alaior to protest housing prices, in a rally orchestrated by 'Menorca per un Habitatge Digne' ('Menorca for a Decent Home').

Another rally against overcrowding in Menorca is scheduled for June 8th in the Plaza de la Biosfera in Mahón.

READ ALSO: Spain's Balearics struggle to fill job vacancies due to exorbitant rents    


Ibiza, which has suffered the most from uncontrolled tourism, will also be holding its own event at the Insular Council headquarters on Friday, May 24th at 8pm, under the slogan 'Eivissa can't take it anymore'.

READ ALSO - 'Ibiza can't take it anymore': Spanish island plans mass tourism protest

Islanders are protesting against overcrowding, the high prices derived from tourism and the environmental impact.

The idea came after several calls were made online to “imitate the protests that took place in the Canaries” in April, with many locals saying that the issues that Ibiza faces, as an island that welcomes the rich and famous, are even worse than those of the Atlantic Archipelago. 

The Balearic Islands received record numbers of visitors in 2023, with 17.8 million in total, and added to the fact that its population has also grown by 33.5 percent since 2001, it puts a strain on the management of its energy resources and its water consumption and housing, which continues to become more and more expensive.

READ ALSO - REVEALED: The places in Spain where rents have more than doubled in a decade


Tourism accounts for 45 percent of the GDP (€16 billion annually) of the Balearics and employs 200,000 people a year, so while it may be necessary, the sheer number and oversaturation of tourists is not.  

Locals argue that in addition to environmental problems, overtourism causes complications in daily life every year with traffic jams on the roads, fighting in the streets and noise that prevents them from leading a normal life.

It’s not just Spain’s islands that have been having issues with tourists, locals in Málaga on the Costa del Sol are also set to protest in June.



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