Spanish holiday hotspot concerned about lack of tourists as Balearic Islands overrun | World | News

Businesses in the tourist hotspot have raised concerns about the lack of visitors at the start of the holiday season following the anti-tourism protests.

Pictures of Magaluf, one of Majorca’s busiest cities, have shown that it is still half-empty on Bank Holiday Monday – the start of the holiday season – leaving local businesses concerned that their local economy will suffer. 

The Majorca Daily Bulletin reported that they are now worried about whether enough tourists will visit the island this year as a result of the surge in anti-tourism protests. During the protest, demonstrators told tourists to “go home” and that their island was not “for sale”. 

It expressed concern that Magaluf seemed “unusually quiet” on Monday, stating it was “half empty if that”. 

Local governments on the island appear to be backing the protestors, with the Balearic government approving the power for tourism inspectors to physically seal off illegal lets. They also said it wants local police forces to be involved in the work of inspecting properties. 

Photos from Magaluf show the city is currently a ghost town. Bar owners are now worried that the protestors’ “wishes have been granted”. Tourism accounts for 45 percent of Majorca’s revenue, according to Exceltur

Rows of deckchairs sat empty, with allegedly only Majorcan residents using the facilities instead. Many of them lay on their side, in a state of disuse rarely seen in the run-up to the summer.  Similarly, cafes, bars and restaurants surrounding Magaluf Beach sit almost empty, with even fewer staff on hand to serve. Even those areas best known for their vibrant nightlife, which almost exclusively cater to tourists, stand empty in comparison with previous years. 

Other business owners, however, maintained that it was still bustling during the weekends. 

One of Saturday’s protest leaders, Javier Barbero, said: “This has only just begun. If the reality is denied and still no measures are taken, we will take to the streets until they act.” He clarified that their stance was not anti-tourism, but stressed: “We have to rethink the tourism model.”

The ongoing protests have left some British tourists considering a boycott of the destination. One frequent visitor commented online: “They should be careful what they wish for,” while another argued: “Stop going to Spain for 12 months and they will be begging us to come back.”

Source link