The Development Of Mass Tourism Mallorca Tourism Essay

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Balearic Islands with total area of 5,014 km consist of four islands which are 2 by Formentera, 11 by Eivissa, 14 by Menorca and 73 by Mallorca (Bull 1997, 140). Mallorca is the largest island of the Balearic archipelago with 555km of the total coast length of the island (Garcia and Servera 2003, 288) which covered for nearly three quarters of the land with approximately 3640 km² in Balearic Island.

The climate of Mallorca is typically Mediterranean with moderate average temperatures. During the summer, the dry and warm season takes place. The average annual rainfalls are 625 mm, with average temperature 16°C and 17°C except in the high mountain (Guijarro 1986). With its favorable climate, extensive coastline and beautiful beaches it have lured visitors coming over for many centuries.

In 1950s the development of tourism increasingly creates an opportunity to the local in generating additional jobs and income. On the other side it has resulted in a large flux of immigrants from Iberian Peninsula to Mallorca. At the same time when the tourism industry developed, the local economy became dependent on this source of revenue. Consequently, in 1955 there is 30 of the population was working for the sector however in 1996 it was almost 76 (Garcia and Servera 2003, 288).

The development of Mass Tourism (Mallorca)

Definition of Mass tourism

Burkart and Medlik (1974, 42) states "Mass tourism is essentially a quantitative notion, based on the proportion of the population participating in tourism or on the volume of tourist activity". However, in the context of Bramwell (2004) relate it to tourism industry's large-scale replication of standardized holiday packages combining accommodation and transport to cater large numbers of people from diverse social groups.

Basically both definitions have pointed out the key element of mass tourism that is all about large volume and large scale of replication production with local participation involvement to cater vast numbers of visitors. Since 1950s tourism in Mallorca has closely aligned with a standard mass holiday package aimed at a very price-sensitive of European tourist (Aguilo et al. 2005, 221). Having such characteristic of the climate, sun and beach is perfectly match with the mass tourist who in search of hot weather and suntan within the framework of a rigidly packaged holiday.

Butler's life cycle of Mallorca

Exploration & involvement stage-1930s

The butler's lifecycle model (1980), describes a tourist destination from the exploration to development up to stagnation and decline phases can be best apply in the destination of Mallorca from the growth stage to post-stagnation stage. In the period of "exploration and involvement" stages tourism takes place in Mallorca act merely "as an instrument for stimulating cultural and intellectual activity" (Bull 1997, 141).

Early development stage - 1955s

When it comes to 1955 Mallorca Island is in development stage where mass tourism started to grow during that period. There was a re-establishment of the tourist board that have significantly change the tourism on the island whereby the tourism become more very much linked with the development of package holidays and mass tourism from the growing markets in western and northern Europe (Pearce 1991 and Williams 1997). However in 1959, Spanish government took the initiate to simplify the procedure of visiting the country in order to modernize the economy by gaining overseas revenue through (Stabilisation Act of 1959). The numbers of visitors started to growth constantly in early 1960s, majority of the visitors were dominated from UK and Germany in large volumes concentrated especially during summer season (Clark 1988) (Figure 1).

Consolidation stage-1980s-1990s

Between 1960s-1980s the consequences from the boom of international tourism to Mallorca, it led to an increasing resort development along the coastline. Most of the island began from the rapid growth of inexpensive package holidays in the 1960s. However in the late of 1970s, many buildings, resorts and apartments were built in order to cater large numbers of visitors and growing number of the populations. Majority of these early resorts were portrayed by standard apartment building architecture, short of appropriate infrastructure and lack of planning, which lead to the consolidation stages. Buswell (1996, 321) described the growth of tourist resolution on Mallorca as "unplanned and piecemeal, even chaotic". Later, stricter planning laws was set up in 1980s and 1990s against the problem that arisen. Subsequently Mallorca managed to maintain its good reputation with tourists, particularly from UK and Germany moreover constantly attracts about 10 m visitors per year (Buswell 1996 and Government Balear 2003)

Stagnation and Decline stage-1990s-2000s

In late 1990s, environmental pressures begin to emerge in Mallorca regarding to the issue such as water shortages, climate change, overcrowding, and over commercialization as well as anti-social behavior by its visitors. This eventually causes an overall of decline in number of visitors arrive to its destination. In provisions of destination life cycle dynamics, the tourism product of Mallorca was beginning to 'stagnate' and 'decline' and required management planning and policy intervention to bring about its 'rejuvenation' (Butler, 1980).

Development of Mass tourism in Calvia, Mallorca

Calviá is a municipality of Mallorca which is also one of the largest tourism receiving areas. It accounted about one third of the total flow of tourists to Balearic Islands. It covers 145 km² and has a coastal strip of 56 Km of beaches and cliffs which caused it absolutely suitable destination for mass tourism. It offers accommodation for 120,000 bedspaces and with approximately up to 1.6 million visitors a year (Aguilo, Algere and Sard, 2005). Furthermore, with its location in tiny distance from the airport of Palma creates an easily accessible to the visitors. The population of the resident increased from 3000 in habitants during 1960 up to 30,000 in the late nineties (Dodds 2007).

Since 19th century, tourism began to be as main economic activity of its island (Ministerio de Economia y Hacienda, 2005). Tourism development in Calviá boomed in the 1960s and has been based on short-term economic gain. As Aguilo et al. (2005) states, it was one of the first municipalities to experience negative effects of mass tourism. Lack of planning regulations resulted in urban sprawl and lack of environmental regard, similar to many Mediterranean resorts.

The model of tourism development in Mallorca has been "based on short-term interest, unlimited building out of tune with local conditions, and an unsustainable exploitation of exceptional natural resources". Tourist development took place in 1960s to 1980s and was hasty and unplanned.


In economic point of view, tourism is important as it create job opportunities, infrastructure development as well as foreign exchange. The unemployment rate is much lower than national average (Ministerio de Trabajo 2005) as there are about 31,793 people employed in restaurant-bars, 2057 involved in transportation rental, 483 in supermarkets, 398 people employed in souvenir shops and with 1,684 works in other tourist facilities. Meanwhile 1,402 involved in beach business and 18,003 are involved in providing tourist activities. In Calviá it was estimated about 61749 vacancies in terms of providing tourist activities (Molz 2004). It has 30 higher income per capital of national and 5 higher of E.U. levels (Ministerio de Economia y Hacienda 2005). Looking at these figures it becomes absolutely obvious 85 of Balearic Island's GNP is from tourist industry, and tourism is the main source of income for the city of Calviá whereby economy is completely reliant upon it.

From the statistics numbers given, it can be conclude that there is high number of labour force joining the labour market, the tourist monoculture especially during the peak seasonal pattern, labour with a low salary system, and pressure of work during high season (Local Agenda 21 2001).

Socio culture impact

While tourism provides certain economic benefits to a region in any case in the short term, however it does causes annoyance to the local way of life. To the locals the concerns may derive due to the unfulfilled promises, disruption of a traditional way of life, insufficiency of employment opportunities or frustration with the economic changes which came with mass tourism development.

Before tourism takes place, Calviá was fundamentally a poor and rural area with little outside contact and general history of emigration with its own language and culture of Catalan roots (Ruzza 2004). However tourism has wholly altered these features; a vast number of immigration from the Spanish peninsula arrived to fulfill the demand for labour created by the growth of mass tourism, particularly in the building industry and the hotel business. Consequent to that the temporary immigrant population, has gradually turn into resident, eventually this causes the loss of cultural identity, conflict over language issues, and lack of social integration within local and immigrant population and tiny participation in local social life.

Although Calviá is Spain's richest municipality and one of the richest in Europe, it has the lowest level of education in Spain which itself the lowest in Europe (Ayuntament de Calviá 1995). Besides, most of employments given for waiters and house cleaner which did not trained by a professional skilled.

Consequences of too many visitors

Reason tourist choose Calviá as holiday destination

The persistence of the sun and sand model (2005, 222), describes that the reason induces tourists to choose the particular sun and sand destination include the climate of 76.2, the beaches (51.2), the price (36.4), and the quality of the hotels (22.2). Among all, climate is the fundamental reason followed by the beaches which induces tourists for choosing such destination. As a result Calviá received a growing number of visitors who travel to a mass tourism holiday destination attracted by the climate, sun and beaches. Calviá were seen as a model based on value, in terms of price competition it has lure many visitors especially from UK and German with it standardization of the holiday experience (CIITIB, 2002).

Social impact

For the local point of view, visitors seem to utilize the physical environment from the local however the profit that generated from the visitors are not share with the local community. Thus it creates undesirable impacts on livelihoods without sharing benefits with the local people who bear the cost of both human and natural environment. Eventually conflicts arise among local populations with vast number of visitors as they need to compete for limited use of resources such as water, sanitation, energy and land uses.

In point of tourist view it is frequently recapitulate with the statements with "this used to be a paradise but now it is ruined" because of overcrowding, over commercialization or overdevelopment. The "mass tourism" tackiness and the variety of problems experienced in Calviá have too often formed blemish alongside beautiful natural scenery; crowded with vast numbers of tourists as if they were many cattle; ruined traditional cultures and occupational patterns by creating a insidious tourism industry portrayed as low paying jobs service and manipulative values; without concerning the needs of local citizens and the community values that were inconsistent with pragmatic economic requirements of the tourism industry.

Environmental impact

The risen numbers of visitors and residents have immense environmental pressure in Calviá. As mentioned in butler's life cycle, Mallorca was in the period of 'stagnation' in 1990s may lay on the line by rising of environmental pressure mainly due to water shortages and climatic change.

Inadequate water supply

The issue of inadequate water supply especially during peak period and summer season, water supplies is aggravated by visitors' flows for use in hotels, swimming pools and golf course. According to the statistic documented in 1995, the water consumption by visitors amounted of 160 liters per day whereby resident is only 130 liters.

High demand in energy consumption

The annual consumption of primary energy in Calviá amount to 72,000 TEP per year of which only 2 is renewable. However, the consumption per day was 6.47 kwh and visitors stay one night in hotel the consumption amounted to 2.14 kwh (Dodds 2007).

Pollution by Transports

Of 1,400,000 tones emission of carbon dioxide, 58 is due to transporting tourist in and out of Mallorca. In Calviá 1995 statistic, visitors are the major causes of traffic congestion where of 70 million journeys 50 million were from visitors.

Urban waste

In 1995 Calviá produced 41000 tons of urban waste with roughly 1.25 kg per day by the resident however 1kg per visitors a day. Moreover there is a limited option for disposal. The production of wastewater and solid waste in visitor areas often surpass the carrying capacity of local infrastructure due the high seasonal demand.

Deterioration of the Land use

Building development in Calviá has been excessive with mass occupation of sandy beaches and important enclaves along the rocky coastline (Pappas 2007). With over 60 of Calviá region was caused by soil erosion. However land area was reducing drastically because of urbanization. Furthermore, as a result of urbanization, quarries and waste dumps were increasing. Forest fires also sparked further destruction of the land. According to an accounting of the distribution of the entire area of Calviá made by Schmitt (Molz 2004) in 1991 the build-up-area has quadrupled in the years from 1968 to 1991 (+311.6). However 57 of archaeological heritage were at high risk of deterioration.

Overcrowded beach

Almost 80 of the analyzed cases show overcrowding despite an urban beach or natural beach. There is a strong seasonal concentration of visitors between June and September because of the demand for sun and beaches. Subsequently this led to overcrowded beach with less than 6 m² of beach surface per person with increasing anthropogenic pressure over the coastal zone (Garcia and Jaume 2003, 287).


Calviá is an example of a mass tourism destination which, from a result of tourism pressure in the late 1980s, faced significant economic, social and environmental decline. As mentioned by Butler (1993) "tourism is an activity because of its reliance upon the maintenance of natural environment and natural processes, should lent itself toward sustainable development." Therefore, sustainable development must always be tourism's main objective. Without natural environment and natural processes there would not be any tourism activity at all. In the case of Calviá the decrease of tourism numbers and Balearic Island as a whole driven regulations and efforts to move towards addressing the problems of the degradation of the environment, deterioration of social systems and facilities and the threat of further tourism decline.

Definition of Planning and Policy

Mass tourism is a key issue in the global tourism industry, may it be in Mallorca or Brazil or Iceland. The word "MASS" alone brings about one fear: mass-destruction. Without careful tourism planning, it brings about unseen consequences that can make "tourism destroying tourism" become a reality and nightmare.

By looking at the definition of planning is extremely ambiguous and difficult to define. Chadwick (1971, 24) states that "planning is a process of human thought with an action based upon the thought - in point of fact, forethought, thought for the future, nothing more or less than this is planning". Meanwhile Hall (2008, 90) supported Chadwick's ideas to conclude that "most important aspect of planning is that it is directed towards the future". However, planning cannot be accomplished without policy because it is closely related terms. Wilkinson (1997) linked planning and policy by stating planning is a course of action, whereas policy is the implementation of the planned course of action.

Planning and policy in the case of Calviá

Calviá Plan for tourist Excellent - 1990

The plan was developed in 1990 as to target the threat of decline. It comes along with the Balearic Autonomous community in cooperation with the municipalities as to modernize, improve and diversify the tourism. This plan included building clearance to regain open space, try to counterbalance the seasonal nature of tourism and training and employment. However this plan is mainly focused on the industry supply side instead of sustainability of the destination and host community did not involve at all. As a result, it did not attempt to overcome the growing issues that have arisen.

Calviá Local Agenda 21 (LA21) - 1995

At the end of 1994, the Town council of Calviá, together with a range of working groups, drew up the "Local Agenda 21 for Calviá" as a long term strategies integrated with economic, social, territorial and environment actions. In formulating LA21 in 1995 and Action Plan in 1997, the Municipality of Calviá actively involved the support of local community, all the stakeholders, NGO as well as national and EU governments.

The key objectives for LA21 Calviá concentrating on entering a new way of life based on sustainable and participatory urban and tourism planning; emphasize environmental management of the destination, look for for agreement and consensus with social representatives, control development and act for more stable employment in the area. (Calviá Agenda Local 21, Mallorca, Spain 2004).

In 1998 New Balearic Law in Calviá was set out as to limit accommodation growth, restore existing hotels and to protect 40 of natural areas. The objectives of the LA21 comprises of 10 strategic lines of action and 40 initiatives.

Key results that have been achieved since the implementation of Calviá's 1997 plan

The LA21 Action Plan which were set out in 1997 were seems to have improvement in a general movement toward sustainability within the region and as Calviá is fairly autonomous, it was able to adopt and implement many initiatives without the need for collaboration from higher government. Among those key results that have been achieved since the implementation of the LA21 action plan are stated below:

Planning and Regeneration

Decline of 200 bed without raise in number of hotels and apartments

1993-2002-about 30 building clearance plan actions including actual building demolition and purchase of urban plots as to prevent further construction were carried out

Demolished buildings on more than 13,500m² of the total surface area

Upgraded area in Magaluf & Palma Nova tourist area with pedestrian zones and planting tree as to improve quality of the area.

In Paseo de Calviá 32 km cycling and walking path was built

Environmental instruments

Tax was imposing on water consumption for conservation with awareness campaigns on promoting its use.

The recycling & urban waste reduction plans successfully separated 70 of the urban waste at origin, assisting by reducing cost of recycling effort, minimizing land fill.

Sea dredging which used to generate beaches has been terminated while measures on environmental friendly were put in place to minimize erosion.

New regulation for limiting anchor damage & harbor congestion cause by boats

Protect wild life & ecosystems with the establishment of Marine Park & terrestrial protected areas.

Economic instruments

Impose an eco-tax in 2002 by Balearic Government as to carry out Calviá council rehabilitation and regenerative projects.

Voluntary instruments

Renovation programmes for hotels, tourist accommodation and tourist facilities established to upgrade quality and attract a higher yield tourist

Socio cultural instruments

Programmes to combat crime, housing and other social issues

Multi-cultural and social programmes such as dance, underwater photography and language classes established to help integrate immigrants into Mallorquin culture.

Calviá has been recognized internationally for its efforts



2.0 The development of mass tourism in Calvia, Mallorca.

2.1 Definition of Mass Tourism