The Balearic Islands freeze tourist places for four years to "advance towards sustainability"

The Balearic Executive has approved this Friday in an extraordinary Consell de Govern the decree of the new tourist law, which President Francina Armengol presented last January in Madrid. Armengol announced that it was going to change the classification system for hotel categories, the popular stars, to take into account environmental, social and labor criteria. One of the main novelties that has been announced this Friday is that the reform of the tourism law includes a freezing of tourist places for the next four years.

Do we have too many visitors?  The impact of tourism in fragile territories

Do we have too many visitors? The impact of tourism in fragile territories

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During this period, it will not be possible to buy new places in Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Menorca does not have a bag of places, so the freeze is applied for the new offer. The insular councils, competent in this matter, will be able to determine if these places are recovered or if they are extinguished.

The moratorium affects the 18,718 hotel beds and tourist rentals. Environmental associations have been denouncing for years that the limit of tourist places that currently exists is so high that there is still room for growth. The Government now speaks of a "decrease in places". Armengol has defended that the decree law approved this Friday will serve to "advance towards environmental, social and economic sustainability", to "not bet on quantity but on quality".

Elevating beds and environmental impact

The new regulations, whose measures come into force today once the decree is published in the official bulletin of the community, will then go through a process of parliamentary processing to become law and thus introduce improvements during that process.

According to the Government, the decree revolves around four axes: social and economic sustainability; circularity and environmental sustainability; territorial sustainability; and modernization and administrative simplification. The Executive estimates that the new regulations, which will use European funds, will involve a public investment of sixty million euros in aid to the sector.

As Armengol advanced, one of the most relevant measures is the obligation for all hotel beds to be liftable before 2023, to facilitate the working conditions of housekeepers. The Government estimates that some 20,000 Kellys could benefit from this measure and that 300,000 beds would have to be replaced. It will also be mandatory for establishments to control the temperature of areas reserved for staff, such as kitchens.

On the environmental front, the new tourism law will force hotels to have a circularity plan: every year they will have to carry out an evaluation of the management of resources and waste generated, which includes the consumption of water, energy and food. In addition, as Armengol already commented in Madrid, fuel-oil boilers must be replaced by more sustainable alternatives, such as electric ones.

These companies will also have to monitor the traceability of fish and shellfish and implement instruments to save water (for example, double flush toilets). Also, among other actions, the new rule prohibits alcohol dispensers for customers, so those who serve it must be employees.

The approval of the decree of the new Tourism Law is part of a package of measures that the Executive of Armengol has adopted throughout its two mandates, such as the Climate Change Lawthe seabed protection and the limitation of the circulation of cars, of the consumption of plastics Y cruise ship arrival.

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