MADRID, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Spain’s Balearic Islands passed a law on Friday to crack down on binge-drinking tourists by banning happy hours and limiting alcohol sales in holiday hot spots.
The regulations outlawed “balconing”, where revellers jump off balconies, often into hotel swimming pools – a practice that has killed dozens of drunken visitors over the years.
Pub crawl tours, booze vending machines, party boats, free bars and adverts for alcoholic drinks were banned in Mallorca’s Playa de Palma and Magaluf, as well as the West End in Ibiza’s Sant Antoni.
Tourists will also not be allowed to by alcohol in those areas between 9 p.m.
and 8 a.m.
“With this, the Balearic Islands become the first destination in Europe to fight back against tourism based on excess,” Iago Negueruela, the regional official in charge of economy and tourism, told reporters on Friday.
Anyone practising or allowing “balconing” would be expelled from their hotel and could be fined up to 60,000 euros ($66,540), he said.
Some traders said the measures would hurt small businesses on the Mediterranean islands.
“I find this exaggerated and disproportionate,” Jose Tirado, president of Mallorca’s Tourism Services and Businesses Association, told Spain’s state television. ($1 = 0.9017 euros) (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette and Ashifa Kassam; writing by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and Andrew Heavens)
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