Mallorca residents frustrated by tourists
Agence France-Presse looked at growing frustration against tourists in Spain’s holiday island of Mallorca. The largest island in the Balearic archipelago in the Mediterranean, which is home to one million people, expects to receive over 10 million visitors this year, a new record.
The crowds have been so large that French tourist Mathilde Boudet, who visited Mallorca and its neighbouring island Menorca with her partner last month, found access to a popular cove closed off by police. “We weren’t expecting that,” the 32-year-old said.
Spain is enjoying a surge in tourism in part as fears over terrorism drive wary travellers away from rival sunshine destinations in North Africa and Turkey and back to former favourites in southern Europe.
But the rise in visitors has led to grumbling from locals in tourist hotspots like Palma who complain of soaring property prices and rents even as they welcome the jobs they help create.
The discomfort was reflected in graffiti messages which appeared in April in the historical heart of the capital Palma which were quickly cleaned up by municipal workers.
“Tourism is destroying our city” was among the slogans spray painted on city walls along with “Tourist go home, refugees welcome”.
Roughly 80 percent of Mallorca’s economy depends on tourism. The island has long been a popular beach destination, especially with visitors from Britain and Germany who favour all-inclusive package holidays and arrive on low-cost flights.