What type of guests do we want?
It is the first time I write to a newspaper but the recent incidents with tourists in Cala Ratjada have compelled me to express an opinion which some may or may not share with me.
I am aware that tourism is the big pillar of the economy in Majorca as well as elsewhere in Spain. Majorcans are the hosts of floods of tourists that come to the island year in and year out. As hosts, they are expected to provide the best experience and be on their best behaviour to its guests visiting the island. Are they not expected to receive the same respect and treatment in return?
If someone is a guest in my home, I would not tolerate my guest getting drunk to the point of trashing, vomiting, defecating or urinating all over my place, so why Majorcans should put up with it? These same guests would certainly not tolerate that kind of behaviour in their own home. They would not behave as such in their own countries where they would risk big fines and even prison. Why should the locals feel unsafe and be exposed to these shenanigans in their own town? Respect and consideration work both ways.
I am not trying to pontificate for a holier than thou type of tourist, that would be unrealistic. I believe there has to be a balance where a combination of tourism for families, solo travellers and young people can holiday in one place instead of segregating each group in separate places around the island. By keeping a balance, the disruptive guests would be less likely to cause the havoc they are causing now. There’ll be less room for them to behave like entitled, spoilt children.
In the case of Cala Ratjada, it pains me that tourism is gearing dangerously towards one sector which is starting to give the place a reputation, and not in a good way. Without naming names, we all know there are places on the island which, just the mention of the name brings immediate images of uncivil, unruly behaviour, of no-go areas. Despite the number of efforts of these towns to attract a different type of tourism, the prejudicial label has stuck, and it is unfortunately there to stay. It just won’t come off. Cala Ratjada is at the risk of being awarded that very same label.
Balance should also be thought out in economic terms. Concentrating and supporting a type of tourism based on revelry, low purchasing power and little respect for Cala Ratjada means that, aside from certain businesses, most of the existing shops will be forced to reinvent themselves or disappear. These businesses also contribute to the economy and need to survive; they give the town its character, its flavour. Without them Cala Ratjada would be a bland, soulless place. So again, balance is the word. Anything in excess is never a good thing. So, Mr Rafel Fernandez, what is it going to be? A first step would be to listen to the people of Cala Ratjada, they certainly know what is best for themselves and for their town.
Inbound travel to the UK
Following the announcement that UK double-vaccinated citizens will not be required to quarantine upon return to the UK from Amber-rated countries (although a second day test will still be required) I am receiving queries regarding the position of UK citizens living in Europe who wish to travel to England.
As I understand it at present all EU residents will still be required to quarantine. However, following Grant Shapps’ statement I raised this issue on the floor of the House. Negotiations regarding the acceptance of the EU “Vaccine Passport” are in hand and I am hopeful that there may be a further statement before the start of the Summer recess. The sticking point may be that the EU will be required to accept all WHO approved vaccines while some countries – notably France – are not inclined to accept the Astra Zeneca vaccine manufactured in India. Let us hope that Common Sense will prevail!