British holidaymakers visiting the Balearic Islands, including popular destinations like Ibiza and Majorca, may soon face on-the-spot fines for street drinking as part of new rules proposed by government authorities.
Last month, controversial proposals were unveiled, suggesting the possibility of banning badly-behaved tourists from the islands.
The Head of Tourism for the Balearic Islands, Jaume Bauza, confirmed the consideration of a blacklist as part of a broader set of measures aimed at addressing the issue of anti-social behavior among visitors.
Street Drinking Fines Proposed by Working Group
A working group, tasked with modifying existing regional regulations against excess tourism, is advocating for fines for street drinking.
According to reports, the proposed fines would be implemented through on-the-spot cash penalties processed via card reading machines.
The suggested measures are part of a comprehensive package developed by a law firm based in Palma, Majorca, in collaboration with various industry stakeholders such as hoteliers, restaurateurs, and representatives from associations like the Playa de Palma Hotel Association and the CAEB Mallorca Restaurants Association.
Previous Decree and Proposed Changes
In 2020, a decree targeting specific areas like Magaluf in Majorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza was established to curb unruly tourist behavior.
This decree included hefty fines for activities such as balcony jumping and restrictions on alcohol consumption in all-inclusive hotels.
Recent elections have brought a new right-wing regional government to power, signaling its intent to rename the decree to the ‘responsible tourism’ decree to mitigate negative connotations.
Additionally, there are plans to extend the rules to cover more streets and resorts across the Balearic Islands.
Government Response and Considerations
As reports circulate about the proposed on-the-spot fines, the regional government has yet to provide an official response.
Jaume Bauza indicated last month that the possibility of putting anti-social visitors on planes and imposing bans on their return was under consideration.
However, he emphasized that the details, including the blacklist proposal, would be regulated in the decree, subject to legal frameworks.
Challenges and Concerns
Efforts to blacklist anti-social tourists may face challenges related to EU free movement legislation, particularly for visitors from EU member states.
While the right-wing Popular Party won the May elections in the Balearic Islands, Spain’s left-wing acting PM Pedro Sanchez is expected to form a coalition national government, potentially influencing the policy direction.
Recent Incidents and Impact on Reputation
Recent incidents, including alleged sex attacks involving foreign tourists, have heightened concerns in popular party resorts like Magaluf.
The region has witnessed fines for balcony jumping and other unruly behaviors, with the council taking a strong stance against such activities.
The crackdown on illegal booze cruises and the suspension of certain licenses reflect ongoing efforts to reshape the image of these tourist hotspots.
Striving for Consistent Regulations
Amidst ongoing efforts to address the challenges posed by excess tourism and unruly behavior, the Balearic Islands’ government aims to establish consistent regulations across all areas, eliminating perceived disparities in enforcement.
The proposed fines for street drinking represent a proactive measure to maintain order and promote responsible tourism in these sought-after holiday destinations.