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Majorca activists, locals demand fewer cruise ships

 

Agence France-Presse

 /  Thu, June 13, 2019  /  06:03 am
Majorca activists, locals demand fewer cruise ships

But Majorca's manifesto was immediately opposed by several business associations in this Mediterranean island which pointed to the benefits of cruise ships on the local economy. (Shutterstock/vulcano)

Activists and locals in the Spanish holiday island of Majorca on Tuesday launched a campaign asking for fewer cruise ships just days after thousands in Venice called for an outright ban in the Italian city.

In a manifesto published on campaign website You Move Europe, some 20 associations asked local authorities to limit arrivals in Palma de Majorca, the island's capital, to one a day and 4,000 visitors.

"Three or four cruise ships accumulate at a time and unleash 15,000 people on the city," Jaume Garau, head of environmental platform Palma XXI, told AFP.

The number of cruise passengers descending on Palma has lept from 545,000 in 2009 to 1.19 million last year, according to the regional statistics institute.

A recent study by the European association Transport & Environment said Palma de Majorca has the second-worst air pollution of the type caused by cruise ships in Europe, after Venice.

Discontent with cruise ships is not exclusive to Spain.

Read also: Five things to know when traveling on cruise ships

On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in Venice calling for a ban on large cruise ships following a collision between a massive vessel and a tourist boat.

But Majorca's manifesto was immediately opposed by several business associations in this Mediterranean island which pointed to the benefits of cruise ships on the local economy.

"It's a type of tourism that consumes, that shops, goes to restaurants," they said in a statement.

"It's a type of tourism that spends, and in a short time frame."