Misbehaving British tourists face being banned from entering the Balearic Islands under controversial new proposals being considered by regional government heads.
The islands’ tourism chief, Jaume Bauza, appeared to confirm that overnight tourists who breach strict rules imposed to crack down on anti-social visitors could be blacklisted.
At the beginning of 2020, a decree on drunken tourism was agreed for certain areas such as Magaluf in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in neighboring Ibiza.
It included fines of up to £50,000 for tourists caught jumping from their hotel balconies and limits on the amount of alcohol served with meals at all-inclusive hotels.
The new right-wing regional government of the Balearic Islands has already expressed its intention to change the name of the decree against excessive tourism to the ‘responsible tourism’ decree to avoid negative connotations.
At the beginning of 2020, a decree on drunken tourism was agreed for certain areas such as Magaluf (pictured) in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in neighboring Ibiza.
Tourists who break the rules can already be kicked out of their hotels, such as those who jump between balconies in a dangerous practice known locally as ‘balconing’.
It also plans to remove the current situation where only some streets in certain tourist resorts, including Magaluf and San Antonio, are affected by the rules, meaning action could be taken against offenders on any of the four islands that make up the Balearic Islands. .
But in a key announcement yesterday, Bauza also appeared to admit that, as part of a package of tougher measures being prepared against anti-social visitors, a proposal has been put forward to put some of them on a plane home and ban them return for a certain time. the period is being considered.
Tourists who break the rules can already be kicked out of their hotels, such as those who jump between balconies in a dangerous practice known locally as “balconing.”
After a meeting yesterday of the Commission for the Promotion of Civility in Tourist Areas with representatives of the four town councils affected by the current decree on excess tourism, the head of Tourism of the islands confirmed that the idea of creating a black list is being considered. .
When asked by local press whether the tougher measures the government was planning against antisocial tourists included the possibility of expulsion from the islands and a ban on returning for a period of time, Bauzá said it would depend on the “crime or infraction committed.” . ‘
Explaining that this would be “regulated in the decree”, he was quoted by the respected island newspaper Diario de Ibiza as saying: “I have expressed the main lines and nothing is ruled out or confirmed at this time.”
‘Then it will be necessary to have a legal framework.
“The main thing is to also attack companies, but above all those people who behave in a way that is not tolerable, neither here nor anywhere else.”
The resorts of Magaluf (pictured above) and part of Playa de Palma, east of the island’s capital, which is also one of the areas covered by the excess tourism decree, have been shaken this summer for several alleged sexual attacks involving foreign tourists, including gang rapes.
The tourist centers of Magaluf and part of Playa de Palma, east of the island’s capital, which is also one of the areas covered by the excess tourism decree, have been rocked this summer by several alleged sexual assaults on foreign tourists, including gang rapes.
An 18-year-old British girl was allegedly gang-raped in a hotel in Magaluf in the early hours of August 14.
Five French citizens and one Swiss citizen were arrested and remanded in custody pending an ongoing judicial investigation and two other suspects were subsequently held in France under European arrest warrants.
The incidents put a spotlight on tourist resorts such as Britain’s popular Magaluf, which has been trying to improve its international image in recent years.
The courts have imposed restraining orders on prostitutes and some pickpockets prohibiting them from setting foot in Magaluf, so the adoption of measures declaring certain people as “personas non grata” is not new in the area.
Any attempt by the Balearic Islands government to blacklist anti-social tourists will clash with EU free movement legislation, where tourists come from EU member states.
Although the right-wing Popular Party won May’s elections in the Balearic Islands, Spain’s left-wing acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, currently has the best chance of forming a national coalition government that would exclude the right.
In August it emerged that four of the five tourists who received five-figure fines over the summer for climbing between Magaluf hotel balconies were British.
The pioneering fight against overtourism ended pub crawls, happy hours and cheap 2-for-1 drink deals in areas like Magaluf and San Antonio’s West End.
The Calviá City Council, responsible for the tourist complex, reported on August 21 that five foreign tourists had been fined for “balconing.”
The five were fined €36,000 (£30,720) each and banned from their hotels.
The fines were imposed under the regional government’s decree designed to eradicate drunken tourism approved just over three years ago.
Earlier the same month, a company offering British tourists illegal booze cruises in Magaluf was fined almost £140,000 imposed under the same decree.
Council bosses responsible for the Mallorcan party resort said company bosses were caught “red-handed” as they escorted around 130 tourists who had paid almost £40 each to a boat where loud music would be played. volume and alcohol would be offered.
The pioneering campaign against overtourism ended pub crawls, happy hours and cheap 2-for-1 drink deals in areas such as Magaluf and San Antonio’s West End.
It also suspended the granting of new “party boat” licenses, prohibiting boats that were already licensed from embarking or disembarking tourists in covered areas.
The new mayor of Calvià, Juan Antonio Amengual, said earlier this month, after it emerged that the “marking” of certain areas that critics of the regional government’s decree have complained about would be prevented: “What we found Right now it’s that one side of the street you have strict rules and, on the other side, you don’t.
“We want everything to be the same.”