The main outcome from Balearics tourism minister Iago Negueruela’s face-to-face talks in London to explain the government’s tourism of excesses decree this week is one of confusion.
While, in principal, the UK travel industry understands and supports what the Balearics government is trying to do, it is worried that by being introduced so quickly, it coupled lead to confusion in all inclusive hotels where the “six alcoholic drinks a day and only with meals” rule is going to be introduced as of this season.
After having digested the minister’s explanation and read through the small print, the Association of British Travel Agents, Abta has said: “ABTA strongly supports initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities.
“Some of the measures introduced by the Balearic Islands authorities to limit anti-social behaviour have potential to cause confusion for UK holidaymakers, so we welcome the recent clarification from the authorities, including that the restrictions will only apply to certain limited areas in Majorca and Ibiza rather than the whole of the Balearics as originally proposed.
“It is important to note that the limits on alcoholic drinks in all-inclusive hotels does not apply to any holidays booked before 23 January 2020, for travel during 2020.
For all-inclusive holidays booked after that date, we recommend that customers check with the agent or operator selling the holiday, as the exemption will still apply if there was an existing contract between the hotel and the tour operator agreed before that date.
“ABTA will continue to engage with the Balearic Islands Government, ABTA Members and other parties, to encourage clear communication and exchange of information, in order to ensure holidaymakers travelling to hotels in the designated areas enjoy a positive customer experience.”
So, just how hotels will manage the situation of clients entitled to the full all inclusive package seated alongside those who are not remains top be seen and it will surely open numerous loopholes.
As the Bulletin has already reported that savvy tourists are getting round the new limitations imposed by booking holidays at all-inclusive hotels just 30-50 metres outside the affected zones.
“The zoning that has been done is cubist style and benefits or harms hotels arbitrarily, without specifying what criteria has been adopted to outline their delimitation.
“The response has not been expected and unaffected hotels have already raised their prices in anticipation of increased demand over the summer,” said Samos Hotel Manager, Cristoph Gräwert.
In Magalluf and Playa de Palma, some hotels that are not affected by the decree are almost opposite ones that are.
“The Government wants to solve tourism excesses, but it simply transfers the problem to the opposite side of the road, forcing some hotels to lower their prices so they don’t lose customers and others to put them up because of increased demand,” said one businessman.
And, hoteliers from Magalluf and the Playa de Palma claim that the new law is forcing German and British tour operators to negotiate the transfer of reservations between hotels “so as not to lose the market share of the holiday segment because all-inclusive offers are what European families demand.”