18-07-2014

Palma.—As the fall out from the video of sex for alcohol games being posted on social media networks continues to keep the media spotlight on Magalluf, the working group agreed that it is time to put an end to "booze tourism" in the Balearics.

Yesterday was the working group’s first meeting, but it was agreed that inspections of bars and clubs in Magalluf are going to be significantly stepped up.

What is more, these inspections are going to involve much closer cooperation between the central government delegation, the Local Police, the National Police and the Guardia Civil and all the administrations will be involved, such as health, safety and consumer affairs. Earlier this week, Plaza Pitiuses, near BCM, was closed and the seven bars in the square ordered to take the necessary action to make sure the establishments comply with the municipal laws.

And yesterday, during the meeting, it was revealed that, so far this season, 185 inspections have been carried out in the municipality of Calvia, primarily in Magalluf, and that 53 infractions or irregularities were detected and sanctioned.

After the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, the Balearic Government spokesperson Nuria Riera, made it quite clear that the local authorities have had enough.

While inspections are going to become increasingly more common, the working group is drawing up a good practice code, which will eventually be enforced in all of the main resorts across the Balearics, to ensure law and order and bring an end to booze and sex tourism. "Inspections have been stepped up in Magalluf over the past few weeks but they will also be increased across the islands because we intend to protect and promote quality tourism," Riera said.

She also confirmed that the working group, which comprises some 20 organisations and administrations, is also finalising the wording of the awareness campaign that is going to be launched in the United Kingdom. Tour operators this week said they welcomed the move.

Derek Moore, chairman of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, welcomed any moves to encourage responsible tourism.

"It is heartening to know the Spanish tourist authorities are taking this seriously."

Thomas Cook-owned youth brand Club 18-30 said it would adhere to any new regulations. A spokesperson said: "We encourage customers to behave in a sensible manner and ensure the activities we organise in resorts, such as boat parties and club nights, are supervised responsibly."

A spokeswoman for Tui Travel’s youth brand 2wentys said:

"We are fully supportive of these new restrictions. This is a positive move."

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