Playa de Palma, when it was quiet during the pandemic. | Enrique Calvo

Do you remember when there was talk of changing the name of Magalluf? It was around the time of the infamous 'mamading' video and in the early years of the Meliá Hotels transformation of the resort. Calvia Beach was a favoured option. Mine was Meliá New Town, not that this was ever proposed and thankfully so. Despite the stigma that may have attached itself to Magalluf, that was the name - and it had been since at least the thirteenth century. History surely counts for something, even in the face of a female tourist caught on camera giving blowjobs to blokes in a Magalluf bar and a stellar process of upgrading to four-star superior and five-star.

Playa de Palma can't count on Magalluf's history. The name was a marketing invention by hoteliers in the sixties. Even now, no one can be entirely certain what it refers to, though when it comes to reports of misbehaviour, it can reasonably be assumed to mean that part of Arenal that the Germans call Ballermann (after Balneario 6). I have taken it to mean the stretch from Can Pastilla before abruptly ending at the Llucmajor border, past which there is more Arenal. An alternative start point is El Molinar and so including Ciudad Jardín and Cala Gamba. The hoteliers of the sixties didn't view it in this alternative way, it has to be said.

Like Magalluf, Playa de Palma (whatever it is) has its issues - tourism of excess issues, principally in the Ballermann area. And also like Magalluf, there is talk of a name change. Mayor José Hila is apparently in favour of a new name - Litoral de Levante (or Llevant), one that will leave many people in Mallorca scratching their heads as it will indeed tourists, who would seem to be the reason for the proposed change.

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According to OK Diario, the idea has come from one of the two federations of residents' associations in Palma, the one that is - in the words of the other federation - "on the side of the politicians". The change to Litoral would literally eliminate any unpleasant touristic connotation.

Playa de Palma forms an administrative district along with Pla de Sant Jordi. One has a lot to do with tourism; the other doesn't. This is the largest district of Palma and it has a town hall councillor with dedicated responsibility. At present, this is a fellow called Jordi Vilà of Podemos. Given that the town hall's toponymy (place names) commission was partial to Litoral, the unfortunate Jordi was invited to discuss it with local residents' representatives. As they flatly refused to even contemplate a change, he withdrew the proposal before it could be voted down.

However, and despite this rejection, it is said that there is still the possibility of a name change. Were there to be, we would have even less idea of what it refers to than the present Playa de Palma, which would nevertheless continue to be what it is called - by hoteliers, by tour operators, by everyone other than the mayor, the odd councillor and a residents' federation that is headed by a one-time coordinator of the Esquerra Unida (United Left) in Palma.