Two of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports may have to alter how they manage the arrival of cruise ships A concern with over-tourism is the major factor for this decision, reports Lonely Planet.
Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Dubrovnik in Croatia receive thousands of international cruise ship passengers daily. However, they are struggling with what most citizens are viewing as an excess number of tourists. Further, the cruise ships contribute significantly to air pollution. The port of Palma, in south-west Mallorca, is the third busiest in Europe for cruise ships. It receives 1.75 million passengers annually. Also, it is the second most polluted (behind Barcelona).
Residents and activists sign petition
Residents, activists and organisations have united to sign a petition to curb the number of cruise ships to just one a day. The maximum number of passengers disembarking should be limited to 4000 only. Additionally, the petition states that the “megacruises at Palma has increased in unsustainable and undesirable ways for our city, causing a serious environmental and territorial impact, as well as growing social protests.”
The petition has received 11,000 signatures and will be presented at a conference in Palma on Friday.
Marta Ferriol, coordinator of one of the NGOs that signed the petition said: “The problem is cruise ship tourists arrive all at once and they saturate the historic part of the city. They don’t spend money in the city. We’ve recently seen a report from Venice that says this type of tourism brings few benefits to residents.”
Dubrovnik has signed an MOU for long-term management of cruise ships
City authorities are yet to respond to the petition. Dubrovnik has already moved ahead with plans on how to manage the high volume of cruise ships. Further, to “preserve and protect” its cultural heritage, the city and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish best practices for long-term destination management. The MOU will implement the 2020 cruise ship berthing policy to reduce the number of cruise ship arrivals.