//Balearics give more detail on alcohol laws

Balearics give more detail on alcohol laws

Officials from Balearics speak with trade at London event

A contingent of officials from the Balearics government have held a meeting with the trade to clarify the law clamping down on problem drinking and anti-social behaviour.

The new rules will ban pub crawls, party boats and advertising that encourages the consumption of alcohol in tourism establishments, including happy hours or open bar offers. The rules will also restrict the amount of alcohol allowed to be consumed in all-inclusive resorts. Off licences that sell alcohol will also have to close from 9.30pm to 8am.

The rules only affect areas that the government have identified as being an issue: Magaluf, the west end of Sant Antoni, Palma Beach and S’arenal.

Crucially, the government contingent also confirmed that bookings at hotels which already had a contract in place on the date the law was changed [January 23] will not be affected in 2020. If no contract was in place on this date then the new laws must be adhered to.

In all- inclusive resorts alcohol will be restricted to three drinks with lunch and three drinks with dinner.

The rule changes will be backed up by an increased police presence in these areas, with officers having the ability to administer fines of up to €600,000 for businesses and €60,000 for individuals who are carrying out anti-social behaviour, such as jumping from balconies.

The new law won’t mean that tourists won’t be able to buy drinks, however. They will just be limited to buying one at a time, rather than the deals which the area is typically known for.

Iago Neguerela, the tourism minister for the Balearics, said that British tourism was essential to the islands and that the moves were to protect family tourism.

An ABTA spokesperson said: “ABTA strongly supports initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities.  Some of the measures introduced by the Balearic Islands authorities to limit anti-social behaviour have potential to cause confusion for UK holidaymakers, so we welcome the recent clarification from the authorities, including that the restrictions will only apply to certain limited areas in Mallorca and Ibiza rather than the whole of the Balearics as originally proposed.  It is important to note that the limits on alcoholic drinks in all-inclusive hotels does not apply to any holidays booked before 23 January 2020, for travel during 2020.  For all-inclusive holidays booked after that date, we recommend that customers check with the agent or operator selling the holiday, as the exemption will still apply if there was an existing contract between the hotel and the tour operator agreed before that date.  ABTA will continue to engage with the Balearic Islands Government, ABTA Members and other parties, to encourage clear communication and exchange of information, in order to ensure holidaymakers travelling to hotels in the designated areas enjoy a positive customer experience.”

Read ABTA Magazine’s piece on what the Balearics is doing for sustainable travel here.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.