Published on : Tuesday, November 5, 2019
The Balearic Islands’ capital of Palma has yesterday outlined its commitment to sustainable tourism management, outlining a series of measures that the tourism board, together with the local authorities, have initiated to address the impact that visitors have on the environment.
From January to September 2019, Palma airport, welcomed over 24. 8 million visitors representing a 3.1% increase compared to the same period in 2018, demonstrating the destination’s growing popularity as a holiday destination. With a rise in visitor numbers and to address the impact that this has, the city’s tourism board, Palma 365, is working side by side the private sector; hoteliers, restaurants and small businesses to develop smart solutions that offer tourists the opportunity to delve into the city’s attractions, while maintaining a sustainable balance for Palma’s residents.
In order to achieve the goal of a more sustainable destination, specific measures include:
New low emission public transport networks; an expanding network of charging points for electric vehicles that enables tourists to move around the city in a more responsible way, either on foot, in electric vehicles, in natural gas-powered buses, by bicycle or on electric scooters.
Extending the restricted traffic zones to achieve the objective of reducing the number of vehicles driving in the centre of Palma.
More than 10,000 trees will be planted in the next four years to open more green zones in the heart of Palma and develop low emission zones.
In addition, from dedicated efforts to develop a more environmentally friendly city, in summer 2019, Palma received the Green Flag award for the coastal city that has recycled the most glass containers in Spain – 60% more than the previous year – a notable achievement which set the benchmark for 130 Spanish municipalities.
Furthermore, the hoteliers in Palma have a strong commitment to the environmental, economic and sustainable development of the island. The private sector is running sustainable initiatives such as the elimination of single-use plastics, the increase of renewable energy, better recycling efforts and the implementation of solar systems to reduce water consumption.
Antoni Noguera Ortega, Mayor of Palma commented that their intention is to continue to improve the city, embracing the challenges of the future and focusing on delivering a quality but sustainable experience for our visitors. They are definitely seeing an increase in the numbers of eco-conscious and responsible tourists who value authenticity and respect local traditions and culture.
Palma 365 is keen to cement its position as a sustainable destination, where everyone, visitors and residents alike, can benefit. Sustainability is a key factor in competitiveness and an element of product differentiation, something that we, together with our visitors place huge value on.
Javier Vich, president of Palma Hotel Association (ASHPAMA) concluded that there is no doubt that the tourism sector in Palma has evolved in recent decades towards a more efficient model. We are seeing how different initiatives implemented by hotel companies aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are starting to materialise. The private and public sector are working hand in hand to make Palma 100% sustainable and turn the island into a more sustainable tourist destination.
The Balearic capital’s primary goal, to be accomplished by the Palma 365 Tourism Foundation is to involve all sectors for a more sustainable city that is open for all tourists committed to sustainability.