Palma de Malloca
The Govern of the socialist Francina Armengol has gone from promoting regulations to limit cruise ships to receiving them at the port. The Balearic executive decided to stand this Thursday on the dock, which Welcome Mister Marshall, to welcome the
first cruise ship to the island in 15 months. The pandemic, which has sunk the Balearic economy like no other in Spain, has left one of Armengol’s star proposals in his second term at the helm of the islands for a better occasion.
The counselor of Economic Model, Tourism and Work, Iago Negueruela, has come this Thursday to the port of Palma to receive the Mein Schiff 2, from TUI, the first cruise that has arrived in the Balearic Islands since March of last year. Just two years ago, in his inauguration speech in June 2019, Armengol assured that it was necessary “to set a ceiling that is socially and economically sustainable” for the arrival of cruise ships. The idea was to start the limitation in 2022, but the pandemic has ruined this intention, causing a 27% drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and leaving a gloomy panorama after a blank tourist season.
Now with nuances, Negueruela has insisted that the objective of regulating cruises is maintained and that “it is not incompatible” with the satisfaction of receiving the first cruise in 15 months because “no one said that you had to reach zero.” As he explained, the pandemic has meant a halt in this objective and, in fact, the Government spokesman has stressed that this year few ships will arrive at the ports of the islands.
The fear of chaining a second summer with hardly any tourists has forced the Government to make an explicit gesture with the cruise industry that, despite leaving about 500 million euros per year according to data from the Maritime Companies Association, is still on the target of the Balearic Executive. In fact, the reception of the socialist councilor – who was accompanied by the general director of Turisme, Rosana Morillo; and the president of the Balearic Port Authority and former Balearic president, Francesc Antich– It has not sat well with its government partners, Unidas Podemos and Més. The spokesperson for the nationalists in Palma City Council, Neus Truyol, has described the political reception group as “excessive”. “If the pandemic has not taught us that economic dependence on tourism leads us to ruin, it is that we have not learned anything,” he said. Truyol, which requires its government partners to develop their agreements to regulate this type of tourism. “We need to establish limits on the number of cruise ships and a ceiling on the number of passengers,” he pointed out.
For its part, the platform ‘Yes als Creuers’ Yesterday he valued the arrival of cruise ships very positively and underlined the cultural and gastronomic profile of the cruise passenger. The entity’s spokesperson, Àlex Fraile, called for a “constructive” dialogue and called for “maximum consensus” in the debate on a possible limitation.
From this moment, as pointed out by the Balearic Port Authority (APB), the Mein Schiff 2 is expected to pass through Palm every week until July 15 and that two other cruises, one of them the first international, make a stop or stopover in the first half of July.