Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in Spain, is gearing up for an exhilarating November as the tourist cruise season hits its peak, with the Santa Catalina dock brimming with activity – but not everyone is happy.
A total of 48 cruise ship calls are expected until Thursday, November 30, making it a month of bustling maritime traffic for the city.
Leading the charge is Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH, set to operate the most berths in the Port of Las Palmas during these weeks, boasting a fleet of six tourist ships. The Santa Catalina quay is expected to be particularly lively on weekends, with frequent arrivals of notable vessels such as the Sea Cloud, MSC Musica, and Sorlandet.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Lucia Polla, travel expert and founder of the renowned travel blog The Viva La Vita, shared her insights about the news.
Polla expressed both excitement and concern about the surge in cruise ship visits to Las Palmas this November.
READ MORE: The popular tourist island overrun with cruise ships as it faces ‘intense’ month
“The expected arrival of 48 cruise ships here in Las Palmas this November brings considerable excitement but also mounting concern. On one hand, we eagerly welcome the economic vitality and global visibility these visitors will bring to our city,” she told this website.
However, she didn’t shy away from addressing the potential risks associated with a tourism boom, drawing parallels with cities like Barcelona and Venice that have grappled with the downsides of overwhelming tourist numbers. Polla emphasised the delicate balance Las Palmas needs to strike between reaping the economic benefits and preserving its cultural and environmental heritage.
“Behind these great ships is a shadow—the danger to our planet. You can hear these discussions in the local cafes and marketplaces. They are a community that treasures their picturesque city and the pristine condition of our natural surroundings,” Polla added.
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In the face of this tourism surge, Polla believes that the residents of Las Palmas must come together to manage both the advantages and challenges posed by the increasing influx of visitors.
She advocates for open communication, foresight, and genuine care for the city’s unique character and environment.
“As Santa Catalina fills to the brim this November, the people of Las Palmas will need to work in concert to manage the benefits and burdens of our rising tourism industry. With open communication, foresight, and care for this place we call home, I believe we can welcome others while staying true to our heritage,” Polla concluded.
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