The Balearic Islands set a tourist limit

by Lorraine Williamson
tourist limit

MALLORCA – According to the regional government of the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera), 16.5 million tourists a year is the number the islands can handle. This is the limit set by the government in the reorganisation of the tourist sector on the islands. 

The Balearic Islands received 16,475,579 tourists in 2022, the islands cannot handle more. As the government has repeatedly stated, the Balearic Islands must increase the quality of visitors rather than the quantity. For this, the islands must also improve the quality of the offer and services and also try to reduce the number of arrivals. The latter especially in the summer months, when locals and even tourists realise that the islands are saturated. 

More occupancy with fewer tourists 

Iago Negueruela, Minister of Economic Model, Tourism and Labour of the islands said: “We believe it is feasible to have more occupancy with fewer tourists. Despite the theories of those who bet on quantity over quality, we are moving in the right direction.” He then referred to the record number of tourists in the Balearic Islands in 2022. Then the islands received the highest tourist expenditure in history. 

“Don’t Talk About a Number” 

Antoni Riera, director of the Fundació Impulsa, in turn, disagrees with the minister. “No one knows the actual carrying capacity of the islands, you cannot speak of a number, although the social and environmental impact it has today is undeniable,” he told Diario de Ibiza newspaper. 

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Fewer cars 

The islands are also taking individual measures. For example, the government of Formentera recently announced that it would limit the number of vehicles accessing the island from next summer. Ibiza also has a problem with too many cars and will therefore submit a legislative proposal to the government of the Balearic Islands. This bill should allow the authorities to restrict access to the islands for rental cars and campers during the high season. 

The islands have been struggling for years with problems caused by their popularity among tourists. Due to overcrowding in the high season, all kinds of services become overstretcjed, traffic jams and the environment is overloaded. Excesses also occur in the entertainment places in Mallorca and Ibiza due to alcohol abuse. Finally, it is becoming increasingly difficult for islanders to find affordable housing. Owners prefer to rent their homes to tourists for a lot of money. 

See also: Balearic Islands want to limit the purchase of houses by non-residents 

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