Balearic government defends “six free drinks a day” rule for three hotspots
British holidaymakers who make new bookings at all-inclusive hotels in three of the most po-pular resorts in Ibiza and Mallorca will in future be limited to three free drinks at lunch and three with their evening meal.
The crackdown is part of the Balearic Government’s new campaign against “drunken tourism” and will affect the three areas of Arenal and Magaluf in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza.
The six-a-day limit will only apply to NEW bookings made before the new legislation was agreed on January 23rd and NOT to holidays which have already been arranged in the all-inclusive hotels in the three party zones. The rule does not apply to any of the all-inclusive hotels outside of Arenal, Magaluf and San Antonio.
The Balearic Government, which has been explaining its stance to tour operators and government officials in the UK, says the limit is needed as part of the overall plan to improve the image of these three party resorts which have been blighted by bad behaviour, usually caused by too much drink.
Most of the other measures under the new campaign, such as big fines for balconing and a ban on pub crawls, drink offers such as happy hours and two for ones, have been welcomed but the alcohol limit in the all-inclusive hotels has caused controversy.
ABTA, the British Association of Travel Agents, is asking the Balearic Government to think again about this element, saying it is is “misdirected”.
“The Balearic Islands and the destinations of Magaluf and San Antonio are very popular with British holidaymakers,” said a spokesperson. “While we strongly support initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities, such as encouraging bar owners to take a more responsible approach to the sale of alcohol and campaigning for balcony safety among young holidaymakers, we believe some of the measures announced in relation to addressing unsociable be-haviour, for example targeting all-inclusive holidays, are misdirected. The vast ma-jority of holidaymakers on all-inclusives are couples and families, so it is difficult to see how imposing strict rules on this type of arrangement will fix the problem of anti-social behaviour in resort. We would encourage the Balearic authorities to reconsider this.”
“It’s also important to highlight that the limits on drinks does not apply to all-inclusive holidays that have already been booked in these resorts.”
Hoteliers themselves are worried as they say tourists are already choosing other establishments outside the zones so they can have unlimited alcoholic drinks as before. In some cases, they say, the hotels are just yards apart but not within the target zones of Arenal, Magaluf and San Antonio.
The new regulations will be valid for five years, with a penalty-based-system of fines of up to 600,000 euros and suspension of activity for up to three years for breaches.
Contracts already signed between tour operators and hoteliers will be respected to prevent any legal or contractual issues.
A spokesperson for the Balearic Government said: “The Balearic Islands go-vernment has approved a Decree Law to combat alcohol excess in certain tourist areas, with the aim of forcing real change in the tourism model of these destinations; promoting responsible conduct, adopting measures to protect the destination and avoiding issues derived from excessive alcohol consumption in certain places of the Balearic Islands. This is the first standard adopted throughout Europe, which restricts the promotion and sale of alcohol in certain tourist areas. This new law aims to position the Balearic Islands as a pioneer destination in combating excesses in tourism with a standard that meets the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Balearic Agenda.”
“The law aims to create a more sustainable and respectful tourism model, in terms of the environment, the quality of life for residents and the visitor experience. The creation of this new bill is in the public interest and has come about following extensive dialogue.”
“ In recent times, efforts to positively promote the desti-nation, create a better quality experience – via both public and private investments – and po-sition the destination in an increasingly competitive and global market have been negatively impacted due to issues of unsociable behaviour often related to alcohol abuse in certain tourist areas of Mallorca and Ibiza.With this new law defended and requested by institutions, social enterprises, businesses and employers, the govern-ment provides the necessary tools to combat the issue and reverse any negative impact.