UK travel bosses are to attend a summit to discuss a proposed booze clampdown at all-inclusive hotels, aimed at reducing “uncivil tourism” in the Balearic Islands.
Representatives from Abta, UK operators and travel businesses in the Balearics will attend the February summit in Palma, Majorca, alongside tourism minister Bel Busquets and Spain’s secretary of state for tourism, Bel Oliver.
Talks regarding the controversial plans, which would see unlimited all-day alcohol banned outside of meal times at all-inclusive properties in Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza, are already under way.
Abta and Thomas Cook are questioning the rationale behind the move, which has been proposed by the mayor of Calvia, in Majorca, Alfonso Rodriguez Badal. If approved, new laws could be in place by 2020 or 2021.
An Abta spokesman said: “We’ve asked the Balearic authorities for any evidence that all-inclusive holidays are a significant cause of the problems that are intended to be addressed, such as behaviours leading to balcony falls, as this is not the experience we have of all-inclusive holidays.”
Stephen D’Alfonso, Thomas Cook group head of public affairs and sustainability, said the operator was sharing data with local authorities, adding: “We support efforts to ensure our customers enjoy a safe holiday. However, we do not believe all-inclusive resorts are the cause of the disruptive behaviour.”
Mark Hoddinott, chief real estate officer at Meliá Hotels International, which has invested in a five-year plan to enhance Magaluf’s image, said the move would reduce excessive drinking but insisted that resorts must also invest in “more high‑quality bars, restaurants and shops, to attract a more discerning traveller, and disincentivise the excessive consumption of alcohol”.
Hugh Morgan, non-executive chairman of the Broadway Travel Group until last October and a Majorcan resident, said: “The British public will vote with their feet and go elsewhere.
“Local politicians need to be careful what they wish for.”