Spain’s Balearics warn no U-turn on boozy British tourists as zero tolerance continues

Magaluf: Large group of tourists party on Punta Ballena strip

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Party tourism has been a major market in the Balearics, particularly on the island of Magaluf, known for its nightlife strip. Drunken behaviour has made headlines over the years as boozy Britons let loose in the resort.

Officials have vowed that the islands will continue their zero tolerance approach to booze tourism.

Francina Armengol, President of the Holiday Island Group, said British people had to know the rules for holidays in Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca to “avoid future unpleasant situations, both for residents and for British tourists themselves.”

Legislation on party boats and all you can drink packages has already been brought in on the islands.

Armengol said: “Our strategy seeks all year round tourism of the highest quality and which, therefore, has its main attractions in culture, gastronomy, sport and nature.

“It is also a tourism that breaks with excess tourism, against which the Government has been fighting for the last six years.”

Drinking in the street has been banned and there have also been crackdowns on pub crawls on the islands. Tourists can face fines of around €3,000 for breaking rules.

Due to the pandemic, the Balearics have yet to run a full summer tourist season under the new rules but are feeling optimistic.

Armengol added: “The islands are a destination that go beyond the sun and the beach.

“We know what we want but we also know what we do not want: tourism of excesses or unsustainable situations that affect our nature or the quality of life of residents.”

Officials said that British tourists remain faithful to the Balearic islands and the destination received 40 percent of British visitors to Spain this year.

The island officials will hold meetings with the UK Government to emphasize the zero tolerance approach.

Officials said: “[The meetings will] stress the need to maintain measures aimed at ending excess tourism in certain tourist destinations in the Balearic Islands and force a change of real model in these areas.”

Magaluf’s mayor, Alfonso Rodriguez, added: “I think we’ve managed to eradicate the negative image and stigma Magaluf had for many years.

“In cooperation with the private sector, we have not only changed the face of the resort but also its essence and purpose.

“We hope that British tourists respond positively to what we have done to upgrade the resort and its urban surroundings.”

Magaluf used to focus almost exclusively on the British binge drinking market and many bars had extremely low prices.

The resort was often known as ‘Shagaluf’ among party loving Britons and had a reputation for hedonism.

In 2019, more than 100 Magaluf tourists had been fined by the end of the summer for having sex or being naked in the street.

The resort also had a more sinister side, with reports of ‘mafia’ type gangs targeting drunk tourists, drink spikings and assaults.

Magaluf has worked hard in recent years to change its reputation and hosted a literary festival this summer.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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