So, the government has gained approval for its tourism of excesses decree, an emergency measure to address issues that apparently constitute an emergency but which have existed for years.
In principle, it is a welcome decree. Where it fails is in the treatment of all-inclusives, a backdoor means of tackling the old chestnut of the impact on local businesses. There may be benefits to some businesses as a consequence of this decree, but this wasn’t the purpose.
While recognising the negative impact on bars and restaurants, the decree’s provisions regarding all-inclusives are nevertheless unnecessary, and they have merely caused confusion, which anyone in the government should have anticipated. Shambolic or absent communications inevitably lead to holidaymakers coming to the wrong conclusions about where and how this decree is to be applied.
Despite this, the government does deserve some plaudits. If, and it is a big if, this decree does indeed put an end to the unacceptable face of tourism, then it will have been an initiative well taken. But there are reservations, and opposition parties were expressing them in parliament on Tuesday. Is it all, as Marc Pérez Ribas of the Cs suggested, a bit of a marketing exercise? Much of the decree’s content is merely a reinforcement of existing bylaws, which could have been toughened anyway.
But the government wishes to be seen to be pioneering. And maybe it will turn out to truly be a pioneer in taming the wild frontiers of certain tourist resorts.