At the conference on Wednesday. | Pilar Pellicer


At a conference on Wednesday at the University of the Balearic Islands, it was reported that Calvia has the highest number of reports of sexual assault per inhabitant among all Spanish municipalities.

Organised by the Guardia Civil, one aspect of this conference was the link between tourism of excess and sexual crimes. Alejandro Miquel Novajra, a sociologist and professor of philosophy and social work at the university, said that there are "close links", as tourism of excess "creates conditions of possibility" for sexual assault to occur.

Guardia Civil commander, Enrique Gómez Bastida, outlined a Guardia study of sexual assault cases, especially in Magalluf but also in certain other resorts such as Sant Antoni, Ibiza. The study focused on how risk situations develop into crimes that are committed in private spaces, e.g. hotel rooms.

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Novajra observed that notions of freedom and anything goes associated with tourism of excess are what explain this breeding ground: "It is not an explicit cause but an implicit one. I can do what I couldn't do in my country. A tourist arrives and, for one or two weeks, he can do what he wants." An additional ingredient is the growing "objectification of women" through social media.

Montserrat Juan from the European Institute for Prevention Studies suggested that preventive measures should include greater training in risk situations for staff in nightclubs and other types of establishment.

Consideration was given as to why this link is more intense in the Balearics than in other tourist regions. "We are a tourist society," stated Novajra, who also pointed out that the resorts most affected areas are those with tourism of excess and where visitors are predominantly British, as there is a "particular sexist discourse" associated with their behaviour.