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  • Introduction
  • This project was carried out in 2001, in collaboration with the "Centre d´Estudis Ambientals" of the "Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona".

    Author: José Núñez Soto.

  • Present situation and justification for the project
  • Tourism constitutes the economic motor of the island to the point that the economic growth of the island is almost exclusively based on tourism.

    During the 60´s the island emerged as a tourist destination, bringing in its wake a process of massive construction across the whole island. At that time there was no territorial plan nor plan for urban development, resulting in serious environmental impacts due to the construction of large hotel complexes, built at random and with a total disregard for either the cultural life of the island or the natural needs of the countryside.

    Although today the legislative situation and the environmental conciousness of society has considerably improved, the situation inherited from the "tourist boom" years completely determines the environmental state of the island as it is today.

    The development of the tourist sector has provoked profound changes in the territory not only at an economic level but also on a demographic and urban level. A new territorial model has been constructed which has evolved ignoring the patterns of integration with the surroundings and traditional architecture of the island. This model has given rise to the urban development of large tracts of the Litoral; at first came the hotels closely followed by apartments to cope with the growing demands of tourism.

    This model developed with only an minimum of planning and few development criteria. This fact alone accounts for most of the negative impacts of tourism on the island.

    The impacts of tourism on Ibiza have been positive as well as negative, however most of the impacts as a direct result of tourism, are negative. Most of this derives from the excessive growth of tourism which has predominated in the past and looks set to continue on into the future.
    This type of tourism shows the least regard for local resources due to its intensity in area and time, its orientation towards minimal cost of accommodation and services and the attitude of those tourists attracted by this low cost (they are generally insensitive to environmental quality).

    The type of tourism prevalent today affects the immediate future of the tourist market and the environmental sustainability and economy of the island; it has generated a series of impacts deriving from a speculative policy which prioritizes shortterm economic benefit.

    It is necessary to produce a development model which curbs over-exploitation of resources, both human as well as physical, the degradation of cultural and biological diversity thus curtailing damage to the environment.

    So, although tourisms opens up new opportunites, especially for small islands, providing income and employment at the same time it causes serious damage to the environment, culture, monuments, the local population and even the quality of the self-same sector, especially when the number of tourists goes beyond its capacity.

  • Objective of the project
  • The principle objective of the study is to find a basis for a substantial change of the actual model of tourism prevalent on the island at present, changing to a tourism with a greater concern for its surroundings, more interested in other aspects rather than only "sun and sand" such as its ecological, historic and cultural values. This implies a more diverse tourism, better distributed in time and space reducing the enormous impacts produced by this sector.

    This project will try to find a basis for an ecotourism whose environmental impacts do not overstrain the sustainable capacity of the island.

    In this case there are two sides to the work: on one side to promote and encourage a tourism based on environmental principles (ecotourism, rural tourism, etc.) and on the other hand try to adapt the less respectful sector to a management system more in accordance with the principles of sustainability. Putting these two courses into action it schould be possible to develop a touristic sector with a better result.

  • Downloads

  • Proposal (in Spanish)

    Diario de Ibiza (article in Spanish)

    Diario de Ibiza (article in German)

  • The Sponsors



    Club Punta Arabí

    Ecociencia - Roca Lisa - Apartado 200 - 07800 Ibiza (Baleares) Tel./Fax: (34) 971 19 60 31 - e-mail:
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