booze blues | 

Majorca restaurants ban football shirts and strapless tops associated with ‘drunken tourism’

Tourists on the Punta Ballena strip in Magaluf, Spain, in 2019. Photo: Clara Margais/Getty

Helen Coffey©

A group of restaurants on the popular holiday island of Mallorca have banned tourists wearing certain clothes associated with “drunken tourism”.

Eleven venues associated with the Palma Beach brand in the party resort of Playa de Palma have created a new dress code, which prohibits football strips and boob tube tops.

Swimwear, trunks and novelty accessories bought from roadside vendors - such as glow-in-the-dark hats and gold chains - are also forbidden, as is clothing with the logo of businesses which promote drinking.

The idea is to weed out intoxicated, disruptive visitors, according to local business owners.

CEO of Palma Beach, Juanmi Ferrer, told Spanish newspaper Diario de Mallorca: “The situation on public roads is worse now than in 2017, 2018 and 2019. We already consider the season lost in terms of incivility control.”

He said that police struggled to control the situation and were unable to stop “large groups of tourists who only seek to get drunk on public roads, on the front line or even on the beach.”

Locals report being fed up with intoxicated visitors who contribute little to the economy; manager of Palm Beach, Pedro Marín, said this type of tourist books last-minute, stays three or four nights and spends €30-40 each day, “generally on alcohol and cans of beer that they consume drinking on the street.”

“They arrive at the hotels in the morning and can’t even walk, they are completely drunk and even their companions leave them alone, lying on the sidewalk,” he said.

Mr Ferrer added that they didn’t want to “prohibit” but to “reeducate” tourists via “friendly ways of communicating”. Each restaurant signed up to the new dress code has a QR at the front which can be scanned to find out the rules.

Spain’s Balearic Islands have made a concerted effort in recent years to change their hard-partying image, crack down on bad behaviour and attract a different kind of tourist.

In 2020, local government announced it was taking a stand against “excessive alcohol consumption” in certain places of the Balearic Islands”.

The Balearic Islands government said: “This is the first standard adopted throughout Europe, which restricts the promotion and sale of alcohol in certain tourist areas.”

The measures prohibit bar crawls, defined as “excursions promoting excessive consumption of alcohol”, plus bar promotions that offer unlimited alcohol for a fixed price, as well as “dangerous practices” such as jumping between balconies.

New licences for “party boats” were also ruled out, and tour operators have this year been reminding guests staying at all-inclusive resorts in Arenal, Magaluf and the area known as the West End of Sant Antoni, that alcohol limits now apply.

“Please be advised that a decree has been issued by the Balearic Government on a new restriction for all inclusive meal option,” Thomas Cook said in a message to guests.

“There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will be provided only during lunch and dinner (three each).”

The regulations are in place for five years.

In other efforts to improve tourism sustainability on the Balearics, a tourism law introduced this year prohibits the introduction of new tourist accommodation for four years and lays out a strategy to modernise pre-existing hotels and resorts.

- Additional reporting by Pól Ó Conghaile

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