Anti-social behaviour continuing as before. | Click

Pepe Tirado is president of the Acotur association of tourist businesses. It represents businesses in Magalluf and Playa de Palma, the two resorts that attract most attention in terms of tourist excesses and illegal activities. These are the resorts at the forefront of the much spoken-about change of tourism model and transformation in favour of a quality tourism. While Acotur fully backs the need for this change, Pepe Tirado sees too little evidence of it in practice at present.

"We have a new season, but with the usual problems. We have come through Covid, the tourists are returning. There is talk of improving the quality of tourism, but nothing changes. Rather, everything continues as before. Or worse. Magalluf, like Playa de Palma, fills up with prostitutes at night. They have no intention of 'practising', only robbing tourists when they return to their hotels, some with more alcohol inside them than they should have.

"The pub crawls have returned. Going to a series of bars and drinking for little money. There are the party boats, illegal parties with alcohol at sea. Without any control, just as there is no control over those who organise them. Apart from illegal pub crawling and party boats without any type of activity licence, there is the general quality of the tourist who visits us. In particular the alcohol tourist, who has no qualms about urinating in the street and laughing about it.

"The number of street sellers is increasing. They sell anything, approaching tourists on the beaches and offering them all their merchandise. It's not just the beach. You come across them anywhere there are people. On Schinkenstrasse (Playa de Palma), for example, you find them in droves. And street vending is prohibited. Oh yeah? It's unfair competition for shops that pay their taxes and self-employment charges. But no one does anything."

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On the Balearic government's tourism law amendment to clamp down on illegal parties, Tirado believes these are very good measures. "But if there are not enough police and inspectors and they don't provide the necessary means for the law to be effective, toughening up is useless. I say this because of the experience we have of seeing how every season, both at sea and on land, clandestine parties are organised which contribute nothing to the public treasury - social security and the Tax Agency.

"This is why I say that if the sanctions are tightened but there is no one to enforce them, we will continue in the same way. No matter how harsh the law is against offenders, if the police don't have the appropriate means to stop things, little will be achieved. The tourism model will only improve by putting order on the streets. I'm sorry to have to say that we have started the season with the usual problems."

"Is the tourism model changing at all-inclusive hotels? Why insist on something that is not true? I repeat: the tourism model will only improve by putting order on the streets. And this isn't happening because there is a lack of police."

Tirado recognises that his association can "sometimes be critical". "But the aim of the association is to collaborate with all institutions and security forces for the general good and that of tourist resorts. Our criticism is always positive and constructive, with the intention of improving the situation."