The Balearic government has put a halt to the creation of new tourist accommodation for the next four years.
The freeze applies to all four of the Balearic islands of Mallorca; Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera and includes holiday rental as well as hotel accommodation.
The government decree was approved by the regional cabinet on Friday 11th February.
The left-wing regional premier, Francina Armengol highlighted the need for a tourism model which focuses on “quality rather than quantity”. High growth over recent years, she acknowledged, has generated a social debate about the balance between tourist places and the islands’ ability to withstand pressure.
The four island councils, she explained, will have four years to determine the number of tourist residences and hotels that each individual island can support.
The councils have delegated powers to manage local tourist accommodation and will each produce a sustainability plan in line with the resources of the island.
Presently there are at total of 18,718 tourist residences and hotel beds in the Balearics.
Armengol stressed the commitment to sustainability and to adapt the tourism model to available resources, the improvement of working conditions and modernisation of establishments.
A new hotel star classification system is also in the offing to reflect this.
Nearly 15 million visitors arrive in the Balearics each year and is the largest sector of the islands economy.