Impacts of Tourism - An assignment about the development of tourism in Majorca

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2009

19 Pages, Grade: 2,3


Table of Contents


1. Majorca
1.1 The History
1.2 Geography
1.3 Climate
1.4 Population

2. Development of tourism on Majorca
2.1 The Beginning
2.2 The second phase of international Tourism
2.3 The third boom of Tourism
2.4 Shift to quality instead of quantity
2.5 Tourism today

3. Impacts of Tourism
3.1 Economical Impacts
3.2 Social-cultural Impacts
3.3 Environmental Impacts

4. Conclusion

I. Sources


Thinking about tourism what first comes to most people’s minds probably has to do with sun, beaches, outdoor activities, shopping trips, exotic food and famous sights.

Of course, all these components make a place a touristic destination and are going to be used by the tourists. Infrastructure is needed as well as certain adaptation of locals. If all necessary resources are given, what should argue against tourism as a motor of local economy and way of development?

But on the other hand, a not successfully or towards sustainability directed management of a touristic destination may cause impacts destroying all these attractions irreparable. Even with all precautions against negative impacts taken, nothing can prevent a community from them. Is the average tourist aware of water being a rare resource, especially in the country of his or her vacations? Is the government of any country willing to restrict income and tax revenue provided by tourism to prevent nature from damage? And can anybody expect concerns about sustainability if a destination just started its rise in international tourism?

By writing this assignment I am going to take a closer look on the impacts, which were caused by the development of tourism on the most famous Balearic Island, Majorca.

The first chapter will deal with general information about the island, the second one will give an overview about the history of tourism and finally the third chapter will deviate possible and existing economical, social and environmental impacts of tourism on Majorca.

Finally I will give a brief conclusion about Majorca as a destination impacted by tourism.

1. Majorca

The Island Majorca is the biggest one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the east cost of Spain. Politically belonging to Spain, Majorca is part of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands are formed by Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Majorca and plenty of other small uninhabited islands.

The following chapter will provide an overview about the history, the geography, the climate and the population of Majorca.

1.1 The History

The first islanders are dated back to between 1300 and 1000BC. During the following centuries different peoples as the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Carthaginians colonized the island and used it as a base for their fights against the Roman Empire. But finally in 123 BC the Romans were able to conquer Majorca and freed the island from the pirates, who took over control after the divestiture of the Carthaginian Empire.[1]

With the conquest by the Romans the systematically cultivation of Majorca started. The cities Palma, Inca and Pollentia were founded and first military roads were constructed. Unfortunately only very few buildings are left from those times.

In the eights century AC the Moors conquered the island of Majorca. By the implementation of an irrigation system and terracing they contributed to the progress of the development of the island. But on the other hand the Moors brought back piracy and used Majorca once more as a base for raids in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1229 the Catalan king Jaime I was able to reconquer the island and abandoned the regime of the Moore. Almost all Islamic buildings were erased from the Majorca and were once was found the mosque, now the cathedral of Palma was constructed.

During the following centuries Majorca mostly struggled from probate disputes of the Spanish Kingdom as well as from enduring piracy until the late 18th century.

After the Civil War and the dictatorship of Franco in 1978 took place the approval of the new Spanish Constitution, which opened the doorway to the creation of “autonomies”.

1.2 Geography

The island Majorca has an extension of 3626 km² and possesses over 555 kms of coastline. Majorca has two main bays with sandy beaches, one in the north-eastern part of the island, “Badia d’Alcúdia” and in the west the “Badia de Palma”.

Along the north-western coast of Majorca runs the mountain chain “Serra de Tramuntana”, the highest point is located in the centre of it and is called “Puig Major” with 1445 m of altitude. Another mountain chain can be seen in the south east of the Island, it is the “Serra de Llevant” with a maximum altitude of 510 m. Between those mountain chains is the lowland of “Pla” covered with windmills, small agricultural villages and with lush pine forests, olive and almond trees[2][3]

1.3 Climate

Due to the location of the island, the climate is fairly mild all year long, typical for the Mediterranean Sea. The summers are mostly sunny with an average temperature of 24°C and fairly rainless. Peak temperatures may be over 35°C during the day and water temperatures are around 22°C. The annual rainfall varies across the island, from 350mm in the south to 1,500mm in the high areas on the “Serra de Tramuntana” mountain range. Between September and November 40% of the annual total falls is noted.[4][5]

The average annual temperature is between 16ºC and 18ºC, excluding the high mountain areas. The island's climate is regulated by the sea and means that seasonal temperature variations are not as notable as they are on continental land masses at the same latitude.

1.4 Population

The island is populated by 790,763 (2006) persons and has a population density of 217.2 inhabitants per sq km. In the capital of Majorca, Palma de Mallorca live 383,107 (2007) people. But due to the high number of tourists visiting Majorca every year, the number of residents is not really meaningful.[6]

There is no official religion, but most of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. The main language spoken on the island is Spanish, though residents speak as well Catalan/Mallorquin. In the touristic areas English and German are widely spread.




[3] Thomas Cook „Viajeros Mallorca“




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Impacts of Tourism - An assignment about the development of tourism in Majorca
Stralsund University of Applied Sciences
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Impacts, Tourism, Majorca
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Svenja Lis (Author), 2009, Impacts of Tourism - An assignment about the development of tourism in Majorca, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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