The sustainability push and its impact on your next Spanish holiday

Keeping in mind the close association of travel and sustainability, the Balearic Islands have implemented a new tourism strategy from 2022. A strategy that not only focuses on economic growth, but also keeps spirit of sustainable practices that will go a long way.

Home to smaller individual islands and renowned tourist destinations – such as Ibiza, Mallorca and Formentera – the Balearic Islands are a Spanish archipelago with Palma as its capital. Deeply committed to sustainability, the islands have proposed some major changes in their tourism policies for hospitality units as well as tourism-related businesses. According to recent reports, the islands’ goal is to innovate in a way that the destination becomes fully ‘sustainable’ and ‘circular’.

An evening in Ibiza

“The tourism sector in the Balearic Islands is primarily interested in continuing to adopt cutting-edge tourism innovation, allowing the advancement of a transformation that has been underway for some time,” said the President of the Islands Francina Armengol.

Aiming for inclusive and sustainable economic growth, the new regulations will require all businesses to have a traffic plan, including aspects such as nutrition, water use, waste and clean energy.

How will this affect your next vacation?

As the new laws take shape, here’s how your next island vacation will be affected:

  • Travelers will have a more transparent understanding of a property’s sustainable practices. The new laws will rank hotels with a rating system to show which properties follow and take a more sustainable approach, allowing travelers to make a more informed choice based on scores of sustainability measures such as the use of renewable energy. or consumption optimization systems.
  • The new law requires hospitality units to install double push buttons and water saving devices. Thus, travelers will notice installations of double push buttons in the toilets as well as water savers installed on the sinks, bathtubs and shower heads.
    Water-saving devices will soon be installed for shower headsWater-saving devices will soon be installed for shower heads

  • The reception units will also have to move towards the use of rainwater (a factor which will also be taken into account when classifying the establishments), while controlling their water consumption.
  • In terms of energy consumption, hospitality units as well as other tourist businesses such as bars, will have to switch to oil-fired boilers for natural gas or electric boilers, which are expected to emit less than 57,600 kilos of CO2. per institution each year. However, this should not affect the stay badly, but it totally depends on the type of accommodation one chooses.
  • In order to avoid excess waste, hospitality units must also remove single-use toiletries, which means no shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, etc. travel size. But, on the plus side, it means the availability of large cylinders that will always be stocked and won’t require multiple calls to the maintenance department for replenishment.
  • There will also be no more paper documents. New laws require units to go fully digital by replacing paper with QR codes. This indicates app-based check-ins/check-outs, digitally completing prerequisite forms. Looks like the constant struggle to find a pen is going to be thrown out the window now.
    Representative image: Shoppers at a fish market in SpainRepresentative image: Shoppers at a fish market in Spain

  • Regarding the culinary world, travelers will have the opportunity to taste and discover local and seasonal products. The new laws prohibit the use of endangered species as food and require mandatory tracing of Balearic fish and seafood.