Sunday, 15 November 2015

Magaluf targets families after anti-social crackdown

SPANISH party resort #Magaluf on Majorca is targeting the family market following a ‘surprisingly successful’ crackdown on pub crawls and anti-social behaviour. 

In 2014, following a string of alcohol-fuelled incidents involving holidaymakers, local authorities introduced legislation forcing companies to apply for a licence to hold pub crawls. Drinking in the street was banned between 10pm and 8am. The action has not only reduced drunken behaviour, but also changed the mix of tourists, according to Alfonso Rodriguez Badal, mayor of Calvia, the region which includes Magaluf and Palma Nova.

A five-year plan to transform Magaluf into a resort to attract wealthy British holidaymakers has now been unveiled.  A consortium of ten British, Spanish, and other hotel and leisure companies are behind the plans to shed the notorious ‘Shagaluf’ image of the destination.

During a trip to the UK to promote the region to #families and special-interest groups, Mr Badal said that anti-social behaviour in Magaluf had fallen by 18% this summer, compared with 2014, while the number of arrests was down by 50%. ‘We didn’t think it would be so successful so quickly,” he said. ‘It’s been a pleasant surprise.’ He credited the clampdown’s success on support from bars, as well as tourists respecting the rules, which police were enforcing through warnings and fines.

The resort has also reported a 3.4% rise in the number of families and 3% more couples visiting this summer. The number of tourists aged under 25, however, fell 3.6% compared with last year. 

Mr Badal said he hoped this trend would continue as more investment was made to adapt to the needs of the family market. In the past three years, €240 million (£171.4 million) has been spent on upgrading hotels and streets in Magaluf and Palma Nova.

Under new rules imposed this summer, drinking is banned in the streets between 12pm and 8am. Only one pub crawl a night can be organized by each bar or company and the organizers have to obtain permission from the authorities a week before they take place. Only officially approved guides are allowed to lead drinkers on the pub crawls.

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