Spain's Balearic islands have passed a bill to curb certain behaviours and practices associated with booze-fuelled breaks.
The regional government in the Balearic islands has banned pub crawl tours, free bars and two-for-one drinks adverts in across Ibiza and Mallorca: the party-centric destinations of Magaluf, Arenal de Palma and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Under the new regulations, alcohol is prohibited from being sold in late-night stores. Any store caught selling alcohol between the hours of 9.30pm and 8am face fines of up to €600,000 or risk being closed down for three years. The regulation also bans vending machines selling alcohol and party boats are no longer allowed to advertise in the three areas or pick up/drop off passengers there.
According to AP, "it is the first law in Europe that restricts the promotion and sale of alcohol in set tourist zones." The region's government tourism chief, Iago Negueruela, said "this law could also have great repercussions outside of Spain."
The law also targets what's commonly referred to as 'balconing', a practice that sees holidaymakers launch themselves from balconies into swimming pools. Anyone caught balconing, or even encouraging the dangerous practice, can be kicked out of their hotel and face fines of up to €60,000 (£51,124). This rule applies to not just the three main party areas but to the entire Balearic islands region, which also includes the islands of Formentera and Menorca. "It will be considered serious misconduct, from both those who practice it and those who allow it," the law states.
The neon-lit strips of Magaluf, Arenal de Palma and Sant Antoni de Portmany are popular with young holidaymakers from Britain, Germany and Ireland. In recent years though they have become bywords for anti-social behaviour, binge drinking and youthful excess. It's hoped that the new laws will help the resorts overhaul their party images and improve the well-being of both residents and tourists alike.