Thousands demonstrate against mass tourism in Mallorca

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Thousands demonstrate against mass tourism in Mallorca
Protesters hold a banner reading "Mallorca is not for sale" during a demonstration to protest against excess tourism and housing prices on the island of Mallorca in Palma de Mallorca on May 25, 2024. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)

Thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca to demonstrate against excess tourism, one of the main sources of wealth in the area, under the slogan "Mallorca is not for sale."


The demonstration took place two days after the collapse of a bar and restaurant popular with tourists in Mallorca's capital city claimed the lives of four people, two of them German visitors, and injured 16. However, the demonstration was organised before this.

The protesters processed through the centre of Palma with those at the front holding a banner with the aforementioned motto and another with the message "If they deny us a roof, they deny us the future."

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The organisers of the demonstration say that overtourism or the excessive number of tourists has made housing astronomically expensive on the island. Mallorca has fewer than 1 million inhabitants, but 31 million passengers passed through its main airport 2023.

Similar protests have taken place in the Canary Islands, Barcelona and Seville. 

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Spain, the second most-visited tourist destination in the world after France, received 85 million foreign visitors in 2023.

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Of these, 14.4 million landed in the Balearic Islands, the archipelago of which Mallorca is the main island, followed by Menorca and Ibiza.


As a region, the Balearics received Spain's second-highest number of foreign tourists in 2023, just behind Catalonia with 18 million.  

Palma de Mallorca airport has Spain's third-highest number of passengers passing through it, with 31 million travelling through it in 2023, according to data from the Spanish airport administrator AENA.

However, tourism remains a huge part of the islands' wealth: its contribution – direct and indirect – to the Balearics' GDP exceeded 40 percent before the Covid-19 pandemic and has already recovered, according to an analysis by CaixaBank.






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