Balearic Islands a 'safe destination' for UK tourists says expert
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But the resort’s partying heyday may well be in the past, as the Balearic islands tourism minister has said he aims to end “drunken tourism”. The islands are hoping to overcome their reputation for “excess drinking” and focus on “quality” tourism.
Iago Negueruela, Minister for Tourism in the Balearics, said it was “difficult” to tackle the problem of “excess or drunken tourism”.
He added the problem would be one of his “main challenges” for the upcoming tourist seasons and said he wanted to change the islands’ image.
Negueruela said of Magaluf’s reputation: “If we put images in any destination we would probably find complex and complicated images as well.
“We will work so that type of image is not produced again. The effort and bet is to avoid excess tourism.”
Negueruela also shared a desire to create “quality” tourism and build a more sustainable industry.
He said: “I think we have to bet on quality, not so much on volume, because we have seen that depending on volume also has its risks.”
The Minister said that excess tourism could often lead to drunken behaviour and controlling tourist numbers could help the islands build a more sustainable and peaceful industry.
Before the pandemic hit, the islands’ parliament had approved a decree to crack down on drunken behaviour in Magaluf and other party districts.
The new law banned bar crawls and bar promotions that offered unlimited alcohol for a set price.
All-inclusive resorts could still offer unlimited alcohol to tour operators if they had signed a contract before the decree.
‘Party boats’ were also placed under restrictions and fines for breaking a decree law go up to half a million pounds.
The decree is in place in Magaluf, Arenal and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza. As the new law only passed in January 2020, the impact has yet to be felt due to Covid’s impact on international travel.
British holidaymakers are known for rowdy behaviour on the islands. Magaluf was often in the news for public nudity and street brawls.
Street signs were even put up in the resort to warn people not to have sex in public or poo in the road.
In August of this year, a British tourist was thrown out of his hotel by Magaluf police after he was said to have trashed his room and argued with staff.
UK holidaymakers in the resort often include young people eager to relax after taking their exams.
In 2020, the Magaluf strip was closed after drunk British tourists broke social distancing rules to the horror of locals.
Many were photographed dancing in the streets without wearing masks or respecting distancing laws.
However, there are signs the resort is changing. Tourists in Magaluf dropped from 10,000 per day to 5,000 between 2015 and 2019.
For some Balearic officials, the hope is to change the resort’s reputation permanently and introduce a different kind of tourism to Magaluf.
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