Call for action on cruise ship pollution

Environmentalists have called on the Spanish government to take drastic action to halt the growth of cruise ship tourism which they say is responsible for high levels of air pollution and other environmental damage.

Spain, Italy and Greece topped the list of EU countries most contaminated by harmful sulphur oxides (SOx) from cruise ships, with Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca among the worst affected cities, in a study by Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment last year.

The latest call from Ecologistas en Acción comes as the global travel industry gathers in Madrid for the FITUR trade fair. The cruise sector is growing faster than much of the rest of the global tourism industry, with the largest concentration on the Mediterranean coast and the Canary Islands. Spain was visited by more than 10 million cruise passengers in 2018, according to official figures, supporting the employment of 31,233 people.

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