The Balearic Government is to limit cruise ships to a maximum of three vessels per day calling at Palma, Majorca.
In addition, only one mega cruise ship carrying 5,000 people or more will be allowed to berth.
It was estimated that this move would result in a 13% drop in arrivals at one of the busiest cruise ports in the Mediterranean region, compared with 2019.
As many as eight ships have arrived in a single days resulting in more than 22,000 people arriving in Palma’s old town.
In 2019, when more than 2.6 mill cruise ship passengers visited the Balearic Islands, more than 25 organisations joined together to call for the vessels to be limited to one arrival per day with a maximum of 4,000 people.
Mega-cruise ships arriving in Palma has grown in a way that is unsustainable and undesirable for the city, leading to serious environmental impact and increasing social protest, a joint statement from the organisations said.
The regional government confirmed that this move had been discussed for two years.
“It means setting, for the first time, a real limit to the arrival of cruise ship passengers to Palma, something that would not have been possible without the will of the sector,” Iago Negueruela, the regional official in charge of economy and tourism, told local media.
As cruise ship arrivals were often scheduled months in advance, the new daily limits would include fewer than 20 exemption days in order to honour previously signed contracts, the government said.
On these days the cruise ship limit would be increased to four, although the total number of passengers would be capped at 59,500 per week.
A 2015 study by the port authority estimated that tourism linked to cruising supported more than 5,500 jobs and contributed €256 mill in direct and indirect revenues to the region.