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Tourism development in Mallorca: is water supply a constraint?

The successful revitalisation of the tourism product on the popular Mediterranean tourist destination of Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, since 1990, following a period of 'stagnation' in the 1980s, may be jeopardised by emerging environmental pressures, particularly water shortages and climatic change. This paper evaluates the physical and human factors that have contributed to the present water supply problems on Mallorca, with particular reference to the role of tourism in these issues. Various water management initiatives have been introduced during the last decade, although the effectiveness of these schemes for both residents and tourists remains unproven. The water supply issues on Mallorca represent a microcosm of similar problems being experienced in other Mediterranean resorts and beyond. The case is emblematic of how environmental issues are becoming more central to tourism management, as well as suggesting a potentially important variant on the tourism life-cycle model of Butler (1980).

Essex, S., M. Kent and R. Newnham, 2004: Tourism development in Mallorca: is water supply a constraint? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 12, 4-28.

Reacting to climate events

Link suggested by authors

Strong link made by authors

Climatic episode


Small network

Longstanding conflict



Medium cost to implement


Local action only

Long term (20 or more years)

Unmanaged ecosystem

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