Spain tells UK to crackdown on lout tourists in fury over Majorca and Ibiza chaos
Iago Negueruela, the Balearic government’s tourism minister, met with Foreign Office officials yesterday afternoon after explaining the drunken tourism decree to ABTA chiefs and leading tour operators. The meetings occurred after ABTA chiefs expressed concern about some parts of the controversial decree approved last month, which includes a three-drinks alcohol limit during meals at all-inclusive hotels, a pub crawl ban and fines of more than POUNDS 50,000 for holidaymakers caught jumping from hotel balconies.
The crackdown covers the Brit-popular resort of Magaluf in Majorca and the raucous West End area of San Antonio in Ibiza which is also a favourite with British holidaymakers.
The party resort of S’Arenal in Majorca, which is popular with Germans, is also affected.
Around 30 people including ABTA’s Director of Industry Relations Susan Deer took part in a round table discussion ahead of the meeting with Paul Bute, the Foreign’s Office Head of Consular Strategy and Network.
The Balearic government said in a statement released after the UK visit, led by Mr Negueruela and its director general for tourism Rosana Morillo, that they had sent out a “message of zero tolerance” against “tourism based on excess.”
It added: “Mr Neguerela has explained to the British government representatives the need to take corrective measures in certain tourist resorts in the Balearic Islands and force through a real change of model in these areas.
“It was the first time the Foreign Office had received a Balearic government delegation for a bilateral meeting, which was also attended by members of the Spanish Embassy in the UK.”
Insisting both administrations would coordinate awareness campaigns in the run-up to the summer, a Balearic government spokesman said: “This will help to avoid future unpleasant situations, both for residents as well as the British tourists.
“The end aim of the decree is to encourage civic behaviour, adopt measures to protect the resorts in question and avoid the excesses caused by high alcohol consumption in certain parts of the Balearic Islands.
“This is the message that has been transmitted to London, to tour operators and the British government.”
Holidaymakers caught leaping off their balconies in the areas covered by the new regional government decree have been warned they could be hit with fines of up to EUROS 60,000.
Hotels who fail in a new legal obligation to kick out guests engaging in the dangerous practice, known locally as balconing, have also been told to expect the same type of fines.
The decree, valid for five years, bans pub crawls and drink offers like happy hours and 2×1 in the areas it covers.
Party boat operators are banned from picking up and dropping off revellers in the areas the law covers.
And shops in the resorts will be banned from selling alcohol between 9.30pm and 8am.
The mayor whose remit includes Magaluf has welcomed the new decree.
Alfonso Rodriguez Badal, whose council has waged a long-standing war on badly-behaved holidaymakers, has described it as an “important step”, adding: “I am convicted that sooner or later these efforts will pay off.”
Majorca hotel association FEHM has warned the three-drinks limit will impact on hotels who do not work with the type of client the decree is aimed at.
And ABTA’s director of destinations and sustainability Nikki White has said the plan to limit alcohol during meals at all-inclusive hotels is “misguided” and “targets the wrong market.”
Earlier this month it emerged holidaymakers in Magaluf face being asked to sign a code of conduct document when they check into their hotels this summer.
Majorca’s hotel association is encouraging members to protect themselves by making sure tourists agree in writing to behave themselves following the introduction of the new decree.
The document Majorca hotel federation FEHM has drafted and sent to its member hotels in Magaluf and the German-popular party resort of S’Arenal, which is also affected by the new regulations, says: “The hotel management informs clients that it is forbidden to engage in practices which endanger life, health and physical integrity in this establishment, for example by passing from a balcony or window to another and jumping from unsuitable locations into the swimming pool.”
It adds: “Guests who carry out these dangerous practices will be expelled immediately by hotel management, with the assistance of the forces of law and order if necessary.”
Holidaymakers where hotels decide to implement the change will be asked to sign and date the document and record their passport and room numbers at check-in.
The code of conduct also highlights the fines that can be levied on guests who break the rules and warns them: “We also inform you that taking drinks of any kind outside the hotel is strictly prohibited.”