Majorca panic as mayor desperately begs British tourists to return | World | News

A mayor in Majorca has issued the urgent message that “all Brits are welcome” amid worries that tourists this summer will be put off by recent anti-tourism protests.

Juan Antonio Amengual, the mayor of Calvia, encouraged travellers to continue visiting the popular holiday destination of Magaluf after over 50 percent of people said the recent protests put them off holidaying in Majorca. Though Magaluf can draw in a rowdy crowd of party goers, the mayor said this does not reflect the behaviour of all tourists and has actually created some “tourismphobia”.

He the aim is for “people to enjoy their holidays with respect between tourists and residents” and is campaigning, as part of the Calvia town hall, to promote responsible tourism as the summer season draws near.

The area has launched the Stick with your Mates campaign, in association with the British Embassy, with various measures to achieve this including special police deployment to prevent theft on its beaches.

Magaluf hotels are currently still all open, and their occupancy for June is roughly 80 percent – around the average rate for this time of year. Despite the recent anti-tourism demonstrations in Majorca’s capital Palma, the tourism sector in Magaluf is due to have a successful summer. 

This points to improvements in the image of the area that have been accomplished in recent years – a result of both public and private sector efforts.

Local news outlet The Majorca Daily Bulletin released a poll revealing that 55 per cent of respondents had re-considered travelling to the island following the protests.

The added that the protestors should be “careful what they wish for” as the island’s economy heavily relies on tourism, leaving many businesses worried about turning over a viable profit this summer and beyond.

Protestors are trying to draw attention to overtourism in Majorca, which has driven rent prices up as more and more properties are turned into short-term Airbnb rentals. They are also highlighting the environmental impact of overtourism.

Jaume Pujol, a member of the Fridays for Future Mallorca protest group, said: “Tourist overcrowding affects people from different sectors.

“The reality of the current situation for many people in the Balearic Islands is job and life insecurity, lack of housing, and the impossibility of forging life projects in the islands. Tourist saturation also brings with it environmental and ecological issues.

“We want to mobilise the older people of the island who have seen how it’s been destroyed, migrants who have come here looking for work, teachers and doctors who can’t pay rents.”

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