Yesterday was day one at the mammoth tourism conference that is WTM. Crowds swarmed through the tourist stands in each region, spread across the immense exhibition space in London. Landing at London City Airport was a doddle with a 5-minute journey to WTM and equally the hotel.
ITTN met with an Irish favourite, Mallorca for an update on the largest of the Balearic islands.
Successful Sustainability – Leading by Example
Lucía Escribano (Director of Island Tourism – Consell de Mallorca) detailed how the tourism authority has and is continuing to put energy and resources into becoming a leading sustainable island. There is a significant effort to remove single-use plastics throughout the hotels on this Mediterranean island. Establishments not complying are impacted with heavy fines illustrating that it is not just led by good intentions but material consequences to ensure everyone is striving towards a common goal – caring & protecting our fragile environment.
In addition, they are collectively engaging with businesses to reduce energy usage and drive more renewable energy sources going forward. Lucía shares that hoteliers are impacted by the initial outlay of investing in renewable energy sources. And while there is a clear positive impact on the environment, hoteliers are now seeing a reduction in overheads and, with rising energy costs felt across Europe, the monetary benefits are further outweighing the initial investment requirements.
In fact, the upside is material enough that additional regions are now looking to Mallorca’s model and implementing it.
Curbing Overcrowding to Protect Palma & the Island of Mallorca
Lucía Escribano also told us about how they engaged with CLIA to limit the amount of overcrowding on the island. The island will only accept one “mega cruise ship” each day plus two smaller ships. This is part of an effort to curb overcrowding and to maximise the positive experiences for tourists.
Summer Sun and Winter City Break
The island is refocusing its marketing strategy. They are seeking to promote Mallorca as a city break, particularly in the off-season rather than having to rely heavily on the high numbers in the peak summer months. Palma is an ideal destination for a long weekend or mini break. I’ve often meandered the cobbled laneways that rise up to the cathedral that boasts commanding views of the harbour. There are plenty of little eateries, bars, cafés, and shops selling local wares all nestled along winding streets with well-worn steps and weathered stone shopfronts. Equally, Palma boasts all the major international labels with a massive department store in the centre though if it’s fashion you’re after, head to the fashion quarter with endless little boutiques harbouring unique creations for every taste (there are also numerous bars and coffee shops if you’re waiting for your other half outside).
I have always tried to tag on 2 or 3 nights in Palma at the end of my Mallorca holidays. It is a stunning city with beautiful architecture, lovely eateries, and great value hotels to suit any budget and the airport is just outside the city. Check out this city at https://www.visitpalma.com/en/.
A Surge in Sports Tourism
Mallorca is also receiving a massive increase in sports tourism . This is something on which the island is seeking to capitalise. Known for golden sands and turquoise waters, Mallorca offers extensive water sports from scuba diving to sailing and everything in between. Of course, a favourite of mine, cycling is a fantastic way to explore the island and stop at a whim along the way.