Travel: In and out they go, those thousands of tourists enjoying their annual invasion of Majorca. There must be a conspiracy theory behind all this

I've just arrived in that great 20th-century phenomenon: the Balearic island of Majorca. This is the place which manages to provoke greater movements of populations every year than Genghis Khan achieved in his entire lifetime.

It is also the place, I am now convinced, which is bound to provoke learned anthropologists of the remote future to ask themselves the following questions: what on earth was package tourism all about? And how on earth did it seduce so many people to uproot themselves and abandon their homes with such depressing regularity and zeal? Well, I have a few insights to offer them.

The first of these is that from the moment of landing, all arrivals suddenly find themselves sucked into a giant and merciless tourist-processing machine. Thousands of people, weighed down with far too much stress in their bodies to resist, file down the endless passageways of Majorca's sprawling airport each day, having arrived in planeload after planeload from all the great, grim places of Europe (Teesside, Manchester, London, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf to name but a few). The wheels of the baggage carousels groan ceaselessly day and night, and passengers tiredly queue in droves with their suitcases in order to be bussed away in shuttles under arc lights.

The second insight is that, for all we know, the promised hotels, beaches, sun decks, swimming pools, cold drinks, ice-creams, souvenir shops, snack bars and the like might not actually exist. Perhaps, in fact, the millions of brochures published each year are merely part of a wider conspiracy to lure a certain kind of person away from their cosy homes and to send them on one-way journeys to nowhere.

Perhaps Majorca itself is a mythology. I thought I was coming to a Mediterranean island. An alternative theory could be that this is a purpose-built concentration camp off the coast of Colombia. Perhaps the real Majorca has been left to the descendants of Robert Graves and members of the Bloomsbury group to continue to enjoy their mountain pines and olive groves in idyllic seclusion.

The Germans, it is said, have bought up 20 per cent of the island, and are pricing locals out of their homes. People like Claudia Schiffer are alleged to have built their multi-million-dollar homes here.

Of course, these allegations could also be deliberately fake rumours, put in place merely to persuade people to spend more and more money on their package holidays, not realising that their hard-earned Deutschmarks are in fact being channelled into nuclear power stations and arms factories, operated by slave labour in the interior.

The authorities are supposedly trying to move Majorca upmarket, using publicity stunts such as the ceremonial blowing up of vile and nasty 1960s hotels and their replacement by luxurious five-star 1990s models. Again, this might mean only that the kind of people being targeted for seduction away from their homes have changed from the European masses to the European middle classes.

On the other hand, it might not mean anything of the sort. It might simply mean that Majorca is a bloody nice place for a holiday and you would have to be a paranoid lunatic not to admit it.

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?