Sunday, June 26, 2022

Spain is trying to counteract “tourism of excess” with dress codes, drink restrictions and high prices

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Britons are being told to play by the rules in Spain amid crackdowns on drunken behavior in what is expected to be a record-breaking holiday season

Spain has put a stop to boozy Brits rowing on holiday as record numbers of British holidaymakers are expected costs this summer.

“Excessive tourism is not welcome in Spain. This is not a (holiday) format that we want to support, we want to change this model,” Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés said at a meeting this week.

“It will not be easy. But that’s something we all agree on,” he added.

Diplomatic sources said I A record number of British tourists are expected to holiday in Spain this year after two years of Covid restrictions and a record 18 million visitors in 2019. According to the information from the Federal Foreign Office, bookings had already increased by 12 percent at Easter in 2019.

Mr Valdés said the Spanish government is investing £3.4 million (€4m) to make Magaluf – possibly one of Spain’s most notorious resorts – a more family-friendly holiday destination.

Nicknamed ‘Shagaluf’ for going out, the Mallorcan resort’s reputation for going out hit rock bottom in 2014 when a shocking video surfaced of a Brit woman performing a sex act with several men over a drink, outraging politicians and women’s rights groups.

Although British pubs like Linekers and Eastenders are still popular, the destination is slowly becoming a favorite with parents with children as hotel chains have invested in family-oriented facilities.

“Magaluf is already changing. If you look at the massive investments from hotel chains like Melia, that changes. It’s only an area of ​​about 300 meters that grabs all the headlines,” said Lloyd Milen, British Consul in Barcelona and the Balearic Islands I.

The British Embassy in Madrid and Spanish authorities have already launched the “Stick With Your Mates” campaign after a British national died after falling from a seventh floor balcony of a hotel in Magaluf on Thursday May 12. A second Briton was seriously injured this week when he fell from a hotel balcony in Ibiza, Spanish media report.

British Ambassador Hugh Elliott said the government is working with Spanish authorities to limit “excessive consumption” and that British tourists “have a responsibility to know the rules, abide by them and have a great holiday for us and ours.” to ensure fellow human beings”.

“We know how excited young people will be about what might be their first vacation abroad in at least two years. The Balearic Islands are a fantastic and safe destination, but we want to make sure our visitors are aware of local regulations and how to be safe at night,” he said.

British tourist Jack Jenkins, who suffered serious injuries after falling from a balcony in Magaluf in June 2018, is backing the campaign, saying it took him three years to recover from the fall and he’s “still not too.” 100 percent”.

“I was in the hospital for a long time and had over five different surgeries. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through and what my family went through.”

In a bid to curb drunkenness in public, all-inclusive tourists will be limited to six drinks a day after the Balearic Islands government enacted new laws earlier this year. Until now, these all-inclusive vacation packages meant tourists could drink as much as they wanted, but they’ve been accused of causing chaos.

The rules, which apply to Magaluf and Palma in Mallorca and parts of Ibiza, also ban the sale of alcohol between 9.30pm and 8am, pub crawls, two-for-one drinks and happy hour. Advertising party boats and jumping off balconies can be fined up to £50,000.

Restaurant owners are also taking action to crack down on drunk tourists, banning holidaymakers wearing football shirts from Mallorca’s Playa de Palma resort, popular with Germans.

Bathing suits, football shirts and trinkets bought from street vendors, such as umbrella hats or gold chains, are also banned after businesses imposed a dress code. Shirtless persons will also be denied service. Eleven restaurants have a QR code at their entrance that people can use to check what they can and can’t carry.

In Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau, the city’s left-wing mayor, is trying to stem the tidal wave of tourists that has engulfed residents and sparked protests.

Before the pandemic, 30 million tourists visited Barcelona every year, but this number fell sharply during the pandemic. Since May, the streets have once again been filled with tour guides armed with colorful umbrellas or gangs of watch thieves targeting wealthy visitors.

Ms Colau wants to try to limit the number of cruises that can call at the city’s port.

“There are thousands of people who cruise (to the city) and most are only here for a few hours. They stay in the center and overwhelm the city,” she said.

In 2019, three million cruise ship passengers visited the city and 40 percent stayed just four hours, Ms Colau said.

In Palma on the island of Mallorca, authorities have limited the number of cruises with over 5,000 passengers to three per day. Ms Colau is hoping for a similar deal but has no control over Barcelona port authorities.

Las Ramblas, the city’s famous boulevard that has attracted a string of kitschy tourist souvenir shops, prostitutes and pickpockets, is at the center of a debate over how to solve the city’s tourism dilemma.

Young tourists who come to party have been blamed for riots big bottles – Mass drinking – on the streets, even when Covid-19 restrictions were still in place.

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