Readers’ Views on Impact of Mass Tourism

Can tourism continue to grow in Spain? Credit: A Savin

Movements across Spain are calling for the negative impact of mass tourism and over-crowding to be addressed.

We asked our readers if this reaction has come too late:

Judy Abingdon,  from the UK, said – “Mallorca is a seductive location with a long history and a rich culture that naturally attracts a lot of attention. Having lived on a lot of islands I think it suffers from the same thing that usually happens. Investors see dollar signs and rush into projects without much planning. So yes, I think it will be very hard to correct this problem now, but I don’t put the blame on the tourists. I put it on the planners who should have done better and considered its citizens and visitors beforehand.”

Judy Abingdon
Credit: EWN

May Al-Ali also from the UK, feels that the great economic value of tourism should be considered – “As a Londoner who relocated to Spain, I feel that tourism is great for the country, it helps the economy grow.  I’m sure the government appreciates that, and I’m sure that the increase in the value of locals’ houses is welcome too. The government just needs to put measures in place to support the infrastructure of the islands to reap the benefits of the economic boost.”

Mays Al-Ali
Credit: EWN

Cecilie Gamst Berg from Norway feels major change is needed if tourism is to be downsized – “If Spain wants to survive economically with fewer tourists, the people shouldn’t vote for governments that make it so difficult to start and run small businesses. The self-employed and entrepreneurs should be praised and held up as examples.”

Cecilie Gamst Berg
Credit: EWN

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    • John Little

      18 May 2024 • 11:47

      To Judy Abingdon : In 1955 Mallorca was a rural peasant economy end off. By 1965 the tourist boom was in full swing and businesses were scrambling hand over foot to build hotels and apartments to house all these incoming tourists. There was no planning, there was scarcely a planning department and zero experience of what to do in this situation . From the seventies onwards delegations arrived from around the world to study tourism development in Mallorca ( and Spain) with the idea not to make the same mistakes. A couple of generations on Mallorcans, now wealthy have realised what they had and what they have lost whilst gaining that wealth. Tourism is still important but it is not the all encompassing king it once was. Quality of life is increasingly important and balancing the two is the perennial question from now on.
      Finally I have to mention the “rich culture”. A rich peasant culture maybe, of Siurells and Pa amb oli but local culture in its quality form as per Paris, Rome, Milan was unsurprisingly non existent. Like Monaco quality culture has to be imported .

    • Olivia

      18 May 2024 • 11:51

      Just a quick note… Mallorca isn’t fighting overtourism as such – they are trying to cut down on the crowds of drunk tourists.

    • CCW60

      18 May 2024 • 15:10

      I agree with what Cecilie Gamst Berg states in the article. If Spain or Mallorca wishes to do things that deter tourism, they’d best plan ahead and vote in government that makes it easier for the local people to establish small flourishing businesses to prevent the economy from taking a spiraling downturn. That said, if I remember correctly, the complaint wasn’t really about the growth of tourism as much as it was about tourist’s who become drunk and show no respect for the locals who live and work in the places where they are on holiday.

    • Mike

      25 May 2024 • 08:20

      It’s the tourist that says ‘I’m on holiday to enjoy myself’ with scant thought of his impact that is the problem.
      Just leave your footprints in the sand…… as the wise saying goes.

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