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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders