Regional politicians say the Balearic Islands have reached total capacity in the summer months. Now they plan to introduce a tourist tax and reduce the number of package tour visitors.
Following similar moves in the Canary Isles, regional politicians on the Balearic Islands are considering restrictive measures to discourage all inclusive package tourists, who largely spend their time in hotel complexes.
Mallorca, Formentera, Menorca and Ibiza welcome some 14 million tourists every year. Eighty percent of these visit are during the summer months. Regional politicians would like to spread the burden throughout the year, but the government in Madrid fears tourists would simply opt for other sun-blessed destinations. The tourism industry provides some 2 million jobs in Spain, and is a major contributor to the national economy.
Mass tourism is also making headlines elsewhere in Europe. Following protests about so-called party tourists, there is now a one year ban in force in the city of Barcelona for new hotels and other types of tourist accomodation. And Venice's new mayor has raised the possibility of limiting the number of day trippers to the famous city center.