AS a pioneer in the hotel industry and a witness to the decades of "glory", I have been unable to resist attempting to qualify the flow of news stories and editorials which every day paint a worrying situation that undermines Magalluf.

Magalluf is primarily a resort which continues to have high potential, with a magnificent beach adorned by palms and pine trees, but whose successful history was interrupted by two huge mistakes in the 1990s. One was that it became a standard destination, with which many tourists came to identify, and the other was to stake all on the "manna" from tour operators who would change us for the emerging destinations in the eastern Mediterranean when the first hurdle arose. The economic crisis of 2008 was the straw which broke the camel’s back.

Consequently, as the traditional family tourism declined, some businesses specialised in a new tourism segment, the so-called booze tourism, which colonised and claimed a series of streets for a youthful market, primarily from the UK, which was highlighted by elements of the media with little responsibility in unprecedented and yobbish reality shows.

This situation can, however, be changed again. For some years, there has been the impulse towards a different tourism offer in Magalluf. Faced with the choice of leaving the resort to its fate or with believing in its potential and investing in order to revive it, many have opted for the latter, despite the fact that Punta Ballena, the street representative of this tourism for drunks, continues to damage - and greatly so - the image of this other Magalluf, the one which is fighting for a tourism that is very much more responsible and ethical and of far greater quality.

Punta Ballena, and all that it signifies, drives out the quality tourist, the one who interests us and who contributes profitability and sustainability to the resort, and so it (Punta Ballena, that is) raises the question: "who can be interested in tolerating the situation?" For too long and year after year, we have seen the problem worsen, and so we demand the quick reaction of the (regional) government and call on all relevant bodies in order to transform the situation swiftly and effectively and to act against the abhorrent practices and abuses of the law which affect the safety of people in the resort.

Despite our great efforts to ensure a great product and to make things better, we know that it is going to cost us much in order to reposition our reputation as a resort, as it has been systematically crushed by those who want to turn it into a TV studio for degenerates. We cannot do this alone. The authorities have the legal, administrative and public order means with which to confront the problems and with which to bring an end to, once and for all, all the awful habits which threaten us all.

I expect that this time, therefore, we are serious and that this summer’s disgraceful scandal will have been the last. We must decide on the model of tourism that we want and come together. Our efforts in offering a different Majorca will have been useless if those who have the power and the responsibility to solve the problems continue to tolerate the few who are irresponsible and who persist in ruining our image, our co-existence and our future. Now is the time to act and for our authorities to confront the situation with courage, before it is too late and before we live to regret it.


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