Mallorca: An island at its limit | DW Travel | DW | 07.09.2016
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Mallorca: An island at its limit

Mallorca has been busier this summer than ever before. Palma's deputy mayor Aurora Jhardi has openly called it a breaking point.

Tourism minister Biel Barceló also had to face facts – at times during August, more than 2.1 million people were crowding the island. This is a record number. July already broke the monthly record with a recorded 1.84 million visitors. That was nine percent more than in the preceding year. The number of German tourists rose by five percent to 609,000.

The flood of tourists was noticeable everywhere. At the airport, during peak times more than 180,000 passengers were processed in a single day. 90,000 rental cars are on the roads. And residents of Palma's old town center complained loudly about the inordinate number of cruise ship tourists – as many as 22,000 of them during peak times flocking into the inner city.

A growing number of mayors are worried about the shrinking water resources. The sewage farms are working at full capacity and in some places emit a rather nasty stink. There were days when over 40 percent of incoming flights landed with delays. And Palma's harbor has reached its limit: nonperishable goods from the mainland take as much as three weeks to reach the island - making business difficult for local companies.

While environmental activists demand a limit on the number of beds or even visitors, local politicians have been reserved in their responses. Conservatives stick to their principle that no tourist is too many. Even the socialist economic councilor Cosme Bonet has cautioned again "closing the doors". He instead suggests investing more in improving the environment.

The threat of terror attacks has meant that holiday destinations like Turkey, Egypt or Tunisia are no longer an option for many tourists. Subsequently, Spain has had a record season in 2016.