Palma.—Bild am Sonntag, the Sunday edition of the world's best-selling newspaper, may have got a bit carried away in the feature it ran last weekend which depicted the Playa de Palma as a destination in decline, dominated by “swindlers, pickpockets and prostitutes” but few people have denied that there was an element of truth behind the report.

And yesterday, the Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association, in cooperation with the security forces in the area, launched a campaign to protect their clients from the “swindlers, pickpockets and prostitutes.” President of the Association, Fracisco Marin said that despite the report in Bild, German holiday makers are still coming, many would have booked before the article was published any way, but nevertheless, the Association obviously agree there is a problem - hence the campaign.

Music and alcohol
Marin went as far as admitting that the newspaper was partly right because during the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June the Playa de Palma was a magnet for young Germans looking for “music and alcohol.” At yesterday's presentation, which was attended by the Central Government Delegate to the Balearics, Teresa Palmer, the head of security for Palma City Council, Guillem Navarro and chiefs of the various security forces in the area, Marin explained that 500 posters in English and German are going to be posted in hotels in the resort alerting guests to the potential dangerous activities going on in the area as well as the illegal beach masseurs and street parties, the infamous ‘botellon', which from this weekend are banned.

Marin said that, at any one time during peak season, there are 35'000 people in the resorts and they all need to be protected and that similar campaigns are being launched in other resorts across Spain.

Marin agreed that proactive action needs to be taken to eradicate illegal activity from the resort but he claimed the problems this year are no worse than last year when there was a council bylaw which banned the prostitutes and petty criminals from the sea front.

That was lifted by the public prosecution last month, much to the anger of the local hoteliers, retailers and residents.
The Association has been in talks with the various security services and the hotels informing receptionists of the camping and the kind of advise they need to be providing guests when they arrive in the resort.