Mallorca locals cram together under one parasol in latest overtourism protest

A larger protest is planned for Sunday 16 June  (@IB3noticies/X)
A larger protest is planned for Sunday 16 June (@IB3noticies/X)

Residents of Mallorca huddled together on a Balearic beach on Saturday (1 June) to symbolise the crowding that “Mallorcans suffer” due to overtourism in peak season.

Video footage of the movement shows dozens of Mallorcans crammed under one parasol on Sa Rapita beach in Campos, with locals saying they feel smothered at their favourite beaches in summer.

The demonstration was organised by social media group Mallorca Platja Tour (MPT) in response to Vox spokesperson Manuela Cañadas who said that Mallorcans should resign themselves to not going to the beach during the summer months.

Previously, the anti-tourism group had estimated that at least 500 locals would “fill the beaches”.

In a statement posted on 31 May, the Mallorca Platja Tour group said: “We have to occupy the Mallorcan beaches as we have done since we were children. Go there to read, to take a nap, to sunbathe, to spend the day with a watermelon.

“There is NOTHING more Mallorcan than enjoying our beaches in the summer.”

Up to 50 Mallorcans huddled on Sa Rapita beach on Saturday (@IB3noticies/X)
Up to 50 Mallorcans huddled on Sa Rapita beach on Saturday (@IB3noticies/X)

Crammed together under one umbrella, the movement aimed to illustrate the lack of towel space due to an influx of tourists in July and August.

The MPT called for residents who could not make it to Sa Rapita on Saturday to “go to your favourite beach” under the slogan #OcupemLesNostresPlatges or ‘let’s occupy our beaches’ in Catalan.

“MPT is a horizontal movement that was born to reveal the situation of the residents during the summer months and also that some politicians have forgotten that they work for the citizens of this land of which they are public representatives and not for the people who come to visit”, the movement added.

According to the group, plans are in preparation for a larger protest on Sunday, 16 June with the objective “to echo the situation that Mallorcans and residents suffer”.

An article in the Majorca Daily Bulletin called Saturday’s demonstration a poorly timed “performance” that would have had more impact if there was not “abundant space” on the beach.

“If anyone’s going to get brassed off as a consequence, one suspects it will be the residents and not the tourists. The residents are perfectly capable of ‘collapsing’ the beaches themselves without the aid of a performance,” wrote Andrew Ede.

Tourism accounts for around 45 per cent of the island’s GDP, but anti-tourism protests on the Balearic Island have been ongoing since April.

Around 10,000 locals made their way through the island’s capital on 25 May warning tourists to “go home” with banners which read “Mallorca is not for sale”.

Banc del Temps spokesperson Javier Barbero, one organiser of the large demonstration in Palma, said: “This has only just begun.”

In Palma, the Mayor has also proposed taxes for cruise ship passengers, fewer rental cars and revised rubbish charges for holidaymakers in the battle against overtourism.