MAGALUF has warned of a Brit crackdown on boozing and parties despite a drop in tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Balearics Islands tourism minister Iago Negueruela has fired a warning shot to party organisers trying to make it business as normal this summer in spite of Covid-19.
He said his government was being “especially vigilant” to police the decree designed to eradicate drunken tourism with fines for balcony-jumping and bans on booze cruises and drink offers like happy hours and 2×1.
In comments echoed by local newspaper Diario de Mallorca today, he said local authorities would do everything possible to make sure these type of tourists "don’t have the option of coming to our islands".
Mr Negueruela’s warning was aimed at websites the regional government claims are still flouting the new tourism decree by promoting alcohol-fuelled party packages.
Mr Negueruela has been critical of Britain’s response to the coronavirus crisis, accusing it earlier this year of being too slow to adopt lockdown measures when the UK was still pursuing ‘herd immunity’ plans.
The Balearics Islands government has thrown all its efforts into attracting holidaymakers from Germany and some Nordic countries as part of a foreign tourism pilot plan expected to get off the ground in mid-June before Spain opens up to international tourism proper from July 1.
Mr Negueruela was among tourism chiefs who sent the British government a “zero tolerance” message during a trip to London to explain the new drunken tourism crackdown in February.
He met with Foreign Office officials after explaining the anti ‘trash tourism’ decree, billed as the first in Europe to restrict the promotion and sale of alcohol in specific tourist areas, to ABTA chiefs and leading tour operators.
The meetings occurred after ABTA chiefs expressed concern about some parts of the controversial decree approved in January, which includes a three-drinks alcohol limit during meals at all-inclusive hotels, a pub crawl ban and fines of more than £50,000 for holidaymakers caught jumping from hotel balconies.
Party boat operators are banned from picking up and dropping off revellers in the areas the decree, which is valid for five years, covers, while shops are banned from selling booze 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, described it as an “important step” earlier this year, adding: “I am convicted that sooner or later these efforts will pay off."
Last month Javier Pascuet Director General of Tourism for the municipality of Calvia which includes Magaluf, predicted: “Magaluf is going to be a very different place this year.”
Speaking before Spain said it was welcoming back international tourism from July, he said: “Everyone knows we’ve been trying to change the resort and change was occurring.
“But the shift this year will be a tsunami.
“It was always going to be more difficult for British holidaymakers to come here this summer and commit the sort of excesses we’ve seen all too often in the past because of by-law modifications and the new regional government drunken tourism decree.
“Now it’s going to be far more so if they can come, and it’s a big if, because of the restrictions that are part of the new world reality.”
Spain has announced that the 14-day quarantine will end later this month.
The country has recorded no new deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours – for the first time since March
Here is everything you need to know about visiting the Balearic Islands this year.
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