Magaluf mayor says ‘all Brits are welcome’ as anti-tourism protests pick up

New measures in party destination aim to build ‘respect between tourists and the residents’

Natalie Wilson
Monday 20 May 2024 11:18 BST
Undercover police officers are now being used on the Magaluf strip
Undercover police officers are now being used on the Magaluf strip (Getty Images)

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The mayor of Calvia, a region on the island of Mallorca, has condemned anti-tourism protests amid fears a crackdown on binge drinking will drive tourists away.

Mayor Juan Antonio Amengual said that although they are “changing Magaluf”, British, German and Italian tourists are still “really welcome” in the boozy Mallorcan hotspot.

“My message is all the British are really welcome in Calvia, that is very important... it’s not the same message you have heard in the other government,” he told the Daily Mail.

“We want the people to enjoy [their holidays] with respect between tourists and the residents... this situation now is creating ‘tourism-phobia’ coming from these behaviours from some tourists, not all tourists.”

In Magaluf, the tourism season has been extended to run between March and November, and officials hope they can keep the harmony between holidaymakers and locals. Previously, peak season on the island lasted from May to September.

Tourists on the popular Punta Ballena strip in Magaluf
Tourists on the popular Punta Ballena strip in Magaluf (Getty Images)

“The British people and the Mallorcan people and the Spanish people, we live together, and I don’t want to see a problem”, mayor Amengual said.

New measures to control the behaviour of partying Brits, including a street drinking ban and restrictions on the late-night sales of booze, are set to be trialled until December 2027.

Under the legislation, anti-social street drinkers could face a fine between €500 (£430) and €1,500 (£1,290) for disrupting the “tranquillity of the environment”.

For summer 2024, Mr Amengual says undercover police officers will also be deployed to halt prostitution, topless tourists and the sale of drugs on the Magaluf strip.

“My dream or what I want is Magaluf to become a destination of day activity and night activity but how it’s been always – not focus the problem in one street and one problem.

“We have worked very hard to remove the name of Magaluf. In the past, they tried to change the name of Magaluf to Calvia Beach - but now it’s not this way. We want to protect the word “Magaluf” like Ibiza, like Mallorca, as a brand that is a big brand.”

The warning of “tourism-phobia” comes as anti-tourism protests sweep Spain.

In response to concerns over mass tourism, demonstrations have been planned in Mallorca on May 27, which coincides with the first day of the UK half term.

Similar demonstrations are planned in Ibiza this week following chaos in the Canary Islands at the end of April when thousands took to the streets in Tenerife to protest increasing tourist footfall.

Balearic Islands president Marga Prohens also recently advocated for restricting the growth of tourism to prioritise “value, not volume”.

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