Palma.—Yesterday, just hours after two incidents in hotels which claimed the life of a 27-year-old Austrian who fell six flights down the fire escape at a hotel along the Playa de Palma and tragically died and another in Magalluf which left a 22-year-old Briton with serious injuries after he fell from a second floor balcony, the Balearic government said it welcomed the British government's initiative. The Balearic Government's Director General for Tourism, Jaime Martinez, said that the measures which have been taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, to try and combat balcony related incidents “is very positive.” After a meeting with the Director general of the Spanish Tourist Board, Manuel Bulter in Palma, Martinez said that the “balconing” phenomenon which has sprung up in resorts popular with young Spaniards and Europeans over the past few years is “very unfortunate” and welcomed the steps being taken by the British authorities to try and increase young people's awareness of the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs with stunts like balconing.

Fronting the campaign launched on Monday is a young Liverpudlian who fell from a balcony in Majorca this year. Fortunately, he lived to tell the tale and his story is being used as warning to fellow young Britons as to what can happen.

In Majorca and Ibiza, for instance, two of UK's top tourist destinations, there have now been 10 cases – already surpassing figures for 2011, despite only being half way through the season. Most incidents involve young people between the ages of 18 and 35 and whilst not always the case, alcohol often plays a part.

Paul Abrey, the British Consul in the Balearics has played a key role in putting the campaign together and said: “We've already seen some tragic cases this summer which have had devastating consequences for the individuals and families concerned. “This year there's been a particular spike early on in the holiday season with figures already matching last year's. “Some people have fallen whilst climbing to a friend's apartment, others have simply lost their footing after a few too many drinks and a few have deliberately jumped off aiming for the pool below. “It should go without saying these practices are extremely dangerous and can cost them their life or leave them permanently disabled. Many young people also arrive without travel insurance. The FCO can't pay medical bills and holiday makers may end up paying out thousands for medical bills and flights back to the UK.” “Booze and Balconies Don't Mix. Fooling around on your balcony could cost you dearly. With your life. Please use your balcony sensibly and safely to ensure the view you see won't be your last,” is the slogan of the new campaign which the British government hope will prevent further incidents this summer.

However, yesterday Martinez said that drownings are a more serious problem in comparison to balconing but said it must be stamped out.

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